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As one year anniversary approaches, internal review of Deputy's death wrapping up

By JOLEEN FERRIS

ORISKANY, N.Y. (WKTV) - As his bosses and co-workers prepare to honor him on the one-year anniversary of his in the line of duty shooting death, the internal review into the six-hour standoff that resulted in Oneida County Sheriff's Deputy Kurt Wyman death is wrapping up.

A four-member panel consisting of three police chiefs and one police captain, some of whom have experience negotiating with emotional subjects, is in the final phases of the internal review. One member of the panel is local; three are from out of the area.

"They started by reviewing the actual casework of the incident and they have now moved on to our agency policy, reviewing how the incident complied or didn't comply with policy and what improvements can be made," says Undersheriff Robert Swenskowski.

The undersheriff was at the fatal standoff in the town of Augusta last June when Christian Patterson, despondent over a crumbling relationship, held deputies at bay with a loaded shotgun for six hours. Deputies fired on Patterson with non-lethal foam bullets. He returned fire, hitting and killing Deputy Wyman. The undersheriff says that while some things were readily apparent, others require more extensive thought and examination.

"There are things that I observed at the scene that I thought there might be better practices of or things I've learned in supervision schools, executive courses, learning about the accountability of everyone on the scene," says Swenszkowski.

The undersheriff acknowledges that, even with widely-approved, responsible policies in place and followed to the smallest detail, situations involving distraught, armed subjects do not have guaranteed favorable outcomes. He anticipates the review will be completed by late summer.

Deputy Wyman left behind a wife and two small children, a son and daughter; his parents, a sister and in-laws. His killer, Christian Patterson, is serving a life sentence without parole.

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