Baldwinsville Police Department History

Written by Super User.

The first recorded mention of any law enforcement in Baldwinsville occurred with the election of DeWitt C. Toll as the first Police Constable in 1851. Police Constables continued to be elected on an annual basis until 1908, when George Cornelius was appointed by the Village Board of Trustees as the first Chief of Police. There were several Chief's of Police in Baldwinsville during the early part of the 20th century. Many long time residents still speak of Chief Frank Spring, who served as a police officer from 1931 thru 1958, when he retired as the Chief of Police. Chief Spring was followed by Chief John Commane who served for approximately 11 years. Following Chief Commane, Chief Harold Hazen served until his retirement in 1972. .

In late 1971/early 1972, many of the police officers had a dispute with the Mayor and the members of the Village Board. This resulted in all of the police officers, with the exception of two, Officers Ora B. Hunter and Kenneth R. McIntyre, resigning from the force. This created a tremendous hardship on the two remaining officers while the Village Board determined what the best course of action would be. After several months of research, Mayor Donald F. Colon and the members of the Village Board decided to reorganize the department under the 1967 President's Commission on Law Enforcement Report. This called for a "Community Service" approach to policing and also required that all officers hired be required to have a college degree, which was unique for the time period. Other differences would be that the Police Officers would be called "Community Service Officers" the Sergeants would be called "Police Agents" and the Chief of Police would be referred to as the "Police Administrator". Officers would not wear a badge on their uniform, rather they would wear a patch. Officers would also wear a cranberry colored blazer as part of their uniform. The concept was that the new uniform would present a somewhat "softer" appearance, thus resulting in better community and police relations.

Douglas Stinson was hired as the first Police Administrator in late 1972. New officers were hired later that year and in early 1973 and they joined Officers Hunter and McIntyre. Included in this group was Anne Wade (later Anne Vertrees) who was at that time, the first female road patrol officer in New York State. Timothy D. Paul followed Chief Stinson in 1975 and he served as the Police Administrator until his retirement in 1993. John M. Balloni followed him and served from 1993 until his retirement in 2000. Daniel M. Warner was appointed as the Police Administrator in 2000 and served until his retirement in 2008. Chief Warner was the last remaining officer from the group that was hired in late 1972/early 1973. Chief Michael W. Lefancheck was appointed to succeed Chief Warner and he continues to serve as the current Police Administrator.

Community Service continues to be the hallmark of the modern Baldwinsville Police Department. While the color of the uniform has changed and the blazer is no longer worn, the officers still wear a patch on their uniform and programs such as Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety, School Resource Officers, Bicycle Patrols, Business and Residence Checks, Child Identification Packets, Public Speaking Assignments and Child Seat Installations are just some of the services offered by the Police Department The department strives every day to remain true to our motto of "Service With Understanding".