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New Director for Child Advocacy Center

By LEXIE O'CONNOR

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Oneida County Sheriff Robert Maciol swore in Dean Obernesser as a new Chief Deputy Tuesday to manage the Oneida County Child Advocacy Center (CAC) in Utica.

Oneida County District Attorney Scott McNamara thanked local police departments, New York State Police as well as the Oneida County Executive's Office for the collaborative effort in bringing the director position back to under the Sheriff's Department, and bring a director that will continue to move the center forward.

"I think he's going to bring a lot to the table that is a lot different than we had before in the sense that he did work for the U.S. government through the Marshals service, he worked on child pornography cases there," McNamara said. "I know he has a good relationship with other partners in this building which is the (Center for) Missing Children, a lot he brings to the table."

After nearly 15 years of being in Oneida County, McNamara says the CAC has become a model across New York State and the country. As the new director, Obernesser said he's ready to continue this and also bring innovative ideas to the center.

"We're going to answer the daily calls, but we want to do more than that we want to be proactive," said Obernesser. "We want to engage in some activities to bring these perpetrators out of the woodwork and bring them to us."

While not revealing what those activities will be, Obernesser said his message is clear:

"If you prey on the children, at least in Oneida County, we're gonna' come for you," said Obernesser.

The new director said in that 2011, the Child Advocacy Center took 1,100 calls and almost 500 of those turned into law enforcement investigations.

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