Saranac Lake Seeks New Police Chief

The Village of Saranac Lake posted a job opening for a police chief on May 7. Former Police Chief James Joyce will become sergeant, and Sgt. Leigh Wenske will be acting chief until a successor is hired. Joyce became police chief in 2000.

Why It Matters

  • Less than two months ago, Saranac Lake submitted its police reform plan in response to Executive Order 203.
  • The order called on municipal chief executives and police departments on a police reform plan.
  • A change in leadership could impact the implementation of the recommendations made to the village by the Saranac Lake Police Reform Committee.
  • Chief Joyce and Franklin County Director Of Community Services Suzanne Lavigne have worked together to set up a Counselor And Law Enforcement Partnership, which would see a public health professional respond to mental health and substance abuse calls after the scene was deemed “safe” by a Saranac Lake Police Officer.
  • Chief Joyce was the village’s biggest advocate for Lexipol, a for-profit company that writes policies for police departments and other public safety offices. Lexipol has received criticism from civil rights organizations and criminal justice activists for writing policies that protect law enforcement officers.

Adirondack Independent News will continue to update this article as the story develops.