It's never been done before in Oneida County, giving the public an inside look at how the sheriff department operates. Sheriff Robert Maciol delivered his first State of Law Enforcement Address at Utica College Monday. He spoke about how the department has changed since he was elected four years ago. And as our Cara Thomas tells us, the department is now planning for the future.
ORISKANY, N.Y--It's been a successful four years since Robert Maciol became Sheriff in Oneida County and said he hopes to keep his department heading in that positive direction.
"Each of the things we've done have been part of a plan, and we're always looking towards the future. We know that the financial landscape changes all the time, so we want to be able to, like I said, plan for where we want to go," said Maciol.
According to the Sheriff, the department's future looks good. With a lot of exciting new technologies and programs in the works, the Sheriff says they'll be able to improve law enforcement, keep their deputies safer and even make the quality of life better for their inmates."
He said, "Part of our equipment upgrades we now have a remote control robot that we can send into critical incidents, instead of having to send a person in."
In addition, the Sheriff's Department will be receiving a new armored surveillance vehicle for their SWAT team as well as a $400,000 mobile command post.
Maciol also announced a new plan to install 8eight acres of solar panels near the jail, allowing them to reproduce 40 percent of the electricity that's used. This will save tax payers about $1.5 million.
They're also starting a new program for inmates called STAR, Steps to Adoption Readiness. It's a partnership between the correctional facility and local humane societies where inmates will care for and train abandoned dogs so they'll be ready for adoption.
"These are two that face isolation, they face rejection at times in their lives, but when their paths merge, they give each other hope as one prisoner becomes salvation for the other," said Maciol.
All of these new programs and technologies are being paid for through grants or surplus funds, and won't have any effect on the tax payers or the county's budget.
Maciol says he plans to continue to give a state of law enforcement address every year so his office can continue to strengthen its relationship with the community and be more transparent.