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Seized drug money helps restore some public safety ranks thanks to loophole

By NICOLE PITT

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The City of Utica will soon be able to restore some ranks within the police and fire departments after the Oneida County Board of Legislators unanimously approved allocating money from the county to the city on Wednesday.

The money, $78,000, was seized drug money from within the county, but because the law states drug money can only be used to purchase equipment, officials found a loophole to help Utica during a financial crisis.

"We allocate to the City of Utica on the basis of equipment," said Oneida County Legislator Dave Gordon. "Whatever funds they have set aside for equipment, they can use that for reinstating funds for their command structure. As far as from our aspect, that's for equipment purposes. That's what the law states. That's how we have to allocate the funding."

Gordon says that next year, he hopes the City of Utica can crunch numbers and stay within its financial restraints.

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