Oneida County Police Reform and Reinvention Committee Accepting Public Comment on Plan Proposal

The Oneida County Police Reform and Reinvention Committee is now accepting public comment on its proposed plan to reevaluate and improve upon the procedures and practices of the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office in accordance with Governor Andrew Cuomo’s executive order.

“Over the past few months this committee has worked hard to evaluate the policies and procedures of the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office and I believe that this collaboration will improve upon what was already a stellar law enforcement agency,” said Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. “I look forward to receiving input from the public that will provide even more insight that can be utilized in this important process.”

The plan proposal can be reviewed here. Public comments should be submitted to ce@ocgov.net by 9 a.m. on Feb. 8, 2021. Public comments will continue to be accepted beyond that date.

Picente appointed a 13-member committee, which was formed to comply with a statewide executive order from Gov. Cuomo that directed the chief executive of local governments to convene the head of its local police agency and community stakeholders, including the District Attorney’s Office, Public Defender’s Office, and non-profit and faith-based community groups, to perform a comprehensive review of current police deployments, strategies, policies, procedures and practices.

The committee was tasked with developing a plan to improve those policies and procedures in a manner that addresses the particular needs of the communities served by the Oneida County Sherriff’s Office and to promote community engagement to foster trust, fairness and legitimacy, and to address any racial bias and disproportionate policing of communities of color.

Committee meetings included presentations provided by members of the Sheriff’s Office and discussion of its practices. All meetings were made available online to be viewed by the public.

“As one of only three New York State-accredited law enforcement agencies in Oneida County since 2006, the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office has consistently been meeting the highest of policing standards and policies as set forth by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services,” said Sheriff Robert M. Maciol. “With that being said, none of us are perfect and there is always plenty of room for improvement and that is why I am grateful for the work of the reform and reinvention committee appointed by County Executive Picente. Many of their ideas are incorporated into our proposed plan and I look forward to hearing comments from the public.”

The plan will be presented to the Oneida County Board of Legislators for approval at its March 10, 2021 meeting, and will be sent to New York State by April 1, 2021 to comply with the executive order.

The plan and a certification form will then be transmitted to the New York State Director of the Division of Budget to affirm that the plan was composed in accordance with the executive order and has been adopted by the county, which will enable the county to continue to be eligible for state and federal funding.