Baldwinsville Retired Police Agent John C. “J.C.” Merritt was honored for a distinguished 34-year career with the Baldwinsville Police Department during the Nov. 17 Village of Baldwinsville board meeting.
Mayor Joseph Saraceni, village trustees, Chief Michael Lefancheck, other members of the police department and a number of guests and relatives all honored Merritt, who began his career with the department in September of 1977 and quickly established himself among the top enforcers of DWIs in Onondaga County.
Merritt primarily worked during the afternoon and evening hours and in 1980 was voted as the first Officer of the Year of the department. He again was awarded that honor in 1987 and 1994, becoming the first person to receive the award on three occasions.
Merritt was promoted to police agent (sergeant) in 1990 and since that time, primarily supervised the 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. shift. Saraceni said he was only 6 years old when Merritt began his career with the department and that the village has seen many changes since that time. The village owes a great deal of gratitude to Agent Merritt for his time with the department and helping to keep the village a safe place throughout his career, Saraceni added.
Lefancheck said Merritt was one of his training officers when he was hired as a police officer in 1987, and that Merritt also trained him when he was first promoted to police agent. Merritt also trained Lt. Thomas LeRoy and current Agent Michael Lockwood when they were promoted and was hired back to train newly promoted Agent Chrissy Allen. Lefancheck said Merritt was “among the best of the best” and his presence would be sorely missed.
Merritt and his wife Wendy, a retired nurse, have resided in Baldwinsville for many years and are the parents of three adult children. Merritt hopes to enjoy time with his family and do some traveling during his retirement but did comment that he would “not be a stranger” around the police department.