The New York State Police Troop B, also known as the Black Horse Troop, was founded in 1921 in Malone, four years after the New York State Police was founded in 1917. Originally mounted on horseback, they cut their teeth during the Prohibition era. Troop B was moved from Malone to Ray Brook in 1980 to a building that was built as the security headquarters for the 1980 Winter Olympics; it is next to the Adirondack Park Agency headquarters. Troop B's area of coverage runs from Gouverneur, on the west to Ticonderoga on the east, and from Indian Lake in the south to the Canadian border. 1  Nine members of Troop B have been killed in the line of duty. 2


Tupper Lake Herald, January 28, 1927

SPLENDID RECORD OF TROOP B STATE POLICE

Outstanding in importance in the yearly report submitted by Troop B of the New York State Police with headquarters at Malone, is the statement that the total value of fines collected and of property recovered exceeds the annual cost of maintenance of the Troop by one hundred thousand dollars. Fines collected during the year aggregate $192,574.98. Property was recovered to the value of $58,984.42 making a grand total of $251,559.40.

An item giving some idea of the scope of the work performed by the grey riders of the famous black horse troop is the total of arrests— 3,154. Convictions, obtained during the year just ended were 2,607, discharges 70 and cases pending 477. The small percentage of cases discharged is also highly significant of the efficiency of the troop.

In the enforcement of the Volstead law this troop seized a total of 51 booze cars. The value of these cars and property seized was $50,975, exclusive of the value of the liquor which investigations without arrest in aid was worth $23,679.90. There were 97 of federal officers, customs and border patrols and the number of arrests made by State Troopers for Volstead violations totaled 198.

Apart from their more regular duties, the Troopers during the year policed the summer White House, there being a detail of six men at the Kirkwood camp on Osgood lake all the time the President and Mrs. Coolidge were there.

The Troopers also policed dances, county fairs, foot ball and basket ball games, inspected motion pictures, assisted in fighting fires, including forest fires, policed the city of Ogdensburg and assisted Federal agents and members of the border and customs patrols during the past year.

The number of miles traveled were Trolley, 3,056; sleigh, 313; bus, 6,113; train, 46,359; foot, 13,364; boats, 575; dogs shot numbered, 27; stolen autos recovered, 34. Mounted patrols traveled 52,276 miles, by auto 315,072, by motor cycle 16,099. Investigations 2,595, property recovered, $58,984.42.


Tupper Lake Free Press and Herald, January 11, 1940

Troop B, State Police, Made 5,027 Arrests in Northern New York in 1939; B.C.I. Investigated 478 Cases

Members of Troop B, state police, whose territory takes in the Northern New York counties along the Canadian border, made 5,037 arrests and secured 4,281 convictions in 1939, according to the annual report released Monday by Capt. Francis S. McGarvey.

The famed Black Horse troop's patrol covered 1.221,088 miles in extending protection to persons and property in this region. The value of lost and stolen property recovered was set at $35,376.65 and the amount of fines Imposed was $35,376.05. [sic]

Arrests were for more than 130 different crimes ranging from murders to traffic violations. In addition to the 4,251 convictions there are pending 693 cases.

The bureau of criminal investigation unit of the troop investigated 478 cases during the year, of which 316 were solved, 107 remain pending, and 55 were unfounded. In the 478 were investigations ranging from 26 homicides, including three murders and two automobile manslaughter cases, to riot, robbery and burglary, the latter the most frequent classification with 188 cases reported.

The state troopers, in addition to routine work policed the Plattsburg war maneuvers, the milk strike, escorted the king and queen of England and their entourage through troop territory, assisted village and volunteer fire departments and fire wardens in fighting fires, searched for persons lost in forests or drowned, assisted unemployed in finding work, policed football and baseball games, dances, and county and state fairs, and conducted a safety program with 63 addresses at schools and before civic organizations.


Adirondack Daily Enterprise, September 26, 1980

Troop B and Federal Prison dedicated today

RAY BROOK — Two facilities — Troop B headquarters and the new federal medium security prison — were dedicated today. Together the new state and federal institutions will bring nearly 300 new jobs into the area.

The coming of the 1980 Winter Olympic Games to Lake Placid was the catalyst which resulted in the opening of these two new facilities.

Troop B headquarters was relocated from its previous home in Malone. Although the New York State Police had wanted for 10 years to move its base to Ray Brook, political pressure from Malone prevented the move until the Olympic Games were won by Lake Placid.

At that time, the new troop headquarters was justified as a security command post for the Games, and Malone lost its long battle to hold onto Troop B.

Placement of the federal prison in Ray Brook was a direct result of the Olympics, as well, because the $27 million facility also served as housing for 1,400 athletes and officials during the Winter Games.

Although Troop B is now fully staffed and operating, the federal prison is just coming into life in its new form after having been converted from the Olympic Village this past summer. Today, hardly a reminder of the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics remains.

[…]

The $3 million Troop B headquarters is the newest building of its type in New York State. It houses full police lab capabilities along with state-of-the- art communications equipment and a fully equipped firing range.

The public has been invited to inspect the new headquarters at an open house tomorrow.


Adirondack Daily Enterprise, November 24, 2007

An excerpt from Maitland DeSormo's 1974 The Heydays of the Adirondacks appeared in Howard Riley's column:

In 1921, Troop B, the famous Black Horse Brigade, was established in Malone to enforce law and order along the extremely lively Canadian border. Headed by Capt. C. J. Broadfield, the detachment consisted of 56 men, later increased to 96, many of whom had seen action in World War I.

Armed with Colt .45's and Winchester .30-30's these men, operating in pairs, covered from 20-25 miles per day through the rural areas on extended patrols.

About 1925 at the covered bridge in Hogansburg, Trooper Dave Benjamin and another officer, alerted shortly beforehand, had blocked the road at the south end of the structure. They didn't have long to wait before a heavily-laden open Buick rounded the bend and headed toward the bridge.

"Benjamin got out of the trooper car and stationed himself in the middle of the road and, with upraised hand tried to flag down the approaching car, whose driver wasn't about to stop. In fact, he kept on accelerating and forced the trooper to backtrack rapidly in order to avoid being run down. Realizing that the desperate bootlegger had designs on his life, Benjamin knew that he had to do something and fast. Instinctively he jumped with outstretched arms, grabbed an overhead rafter and chinned himself While at the same time tucking his legs under him to prevent their crashing into the windshield.

Then, as the Buick passed underneath, he dropped into the back seat, guzzled the guy, over-powered him and yanked on the emergency brake just in time to soften the impact of the collision with the Troop B car.

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Footnotes

1. Tupper Lake Free Press, June 7, 1978
2. Adirondack Daily EnterpriseMay 29, 2002