The Oneida County Sheriff's Office is launching its new community affairs unit with hopes that it will continue providing positive contact between law enforcement and the county's residents.
Sheriff Robert Maciol introduced the community affairs unit during his inaugural state of the county law enforcement address at Utica College earlier this week.
"I need a direct life line to the community of Oneida County. I mean we need the people of Oneida County just as much as they need us," he said.
He says the multi-divisional group draws from both the corrections and law enforcement sides of the sheriff's department and will handle outreach and community departmental education programs to residents.
"We want [the community] to be able to utilize the resources of the sheriff's office," he said.
Maciol says the three-person unit will be in charge of things like the child ID program, recruitment and overseeing public safety programs like marine and safety patrols. The unit will also be in charge of domestic violence follow ups.
"We've been able to successfully plan financially, logistically with our staffing and our management of the staff and our overtime management, all these things we were able to specifically plan for the eventual creation of this unit."