Tupper Lake police chief ties burglaries to drug use

TUPPER LAKE – There were a lot of burglaries in Tupper Lake this summer – about a dozen in the last three months.

After Tupper Lake police Chief Eric Proulx gave the village board the August police report, Trustee Rick Donah commented on the number of burglaries.

“I can tell you we only have one felony burglary case that we have not solved out of all of them this summer,” Proulx said. “As far as the frequency of it, I can’t tell you why, but I can contemplate a little bit in talking with people.”

Most of the burglaries were committed by people who knew the victims. In speaking to those victims, Proulx said his officers are often told the perpetrators are involved with drugs.

“Narcotic and prescription drug abuse in this community is no secret,” Proulx told the board. “You just saw the drug roundup in the county, and there wasn’t too much included in Tupper Lake, but I can guarantee you’ll see those numbers soon.”

That drug roundup netted 36 arrests in Franklin County, only two of which were in Tupper Lake.

After the meeting, Proulx told the Enterprise that Franklin County District Attorney Derek Champagne has restructured the way law-enforcement agencies communicate within the county.

“We’re doing more sharing,” Proulx said. “We’re meeting more frequently and sharing trends, sharing information about drug dealers and problems in our communities. We’re getting everybody together, all the agencies, not just local and state. Everybody.”

Proulx said the heightened level of communication is helping each agency hone in on the best way to combat drug-related crime.

“Not everybody has the same method,” Proulx said. “Everybody wants the same outcome, but what might work in Tupper Lake might not work in Saranac Lake. We’re discussing different avenues and working one area at a time to tackle the drug problem in our communities.”

Proulx said people need to be alert, inform police of suspicious activity and take measures to protect their property.

“In growing up here, you never locked your doors; you left your keys in your car ignition overnight,” Proulx said. “That’s just the way of life. I never do that myself anymore. I lock my car, I lock my doors, and that’s something that people need to be advised to do.”

Mayor Paul Maroun praised the efforts of the police department at the board meeting and then put forth a motion, which was passed by the board, to bump Officer Jordan Nason from part- to full-time status.

“With the overtime, he’s actually accruing the same kind of benefits that he would if he was full time,” Maroun said. “He’s doing a good job, and I think it’s time we did this.”

That brings the village police force to nine full-time members, including the chief and an officer who’s out on long-term leave.

Contact Shaun Kittle at 891-2600 ext. 25 or skittle@adirondackdailyenterprise.com.