Oneida County Sheriff: We are always training

ORISKANY, N.Y. (WKTV) - The televisions inside the Oneida County Sheriff's Department were also tuned in to the manhunt in Boston on Friday.

NEWSChannel 2 sat down with the sheriff to talk about the events that are unfolding and how agencies in our area are constantly training to be better prepared.

"If you go back in time these things have occurred always," said Oneida County Sheriff Robert Maciol. "They aren't common but it's not like they haven't happened before. You look back and you see different incidents like this and they happened decades ago."

What has changed though, is technology. The latest information is available as it happens. "When could you watch a live hostage situation unfold, live on TV?" asked Maciol. "That's something we haven't seen up until the most recent few years."

And while the events unfold in Boston, local officials are keeping up to date. "We have people who constantly monitor something like this and look at things that are occuring locally to make sure there is no connection, to make sure that we are prepared," said Maciol.

It's a scene all too familiar for many people in Herkimer County. North Main Street was the scene of a stand-off following a mass shooting just last month. "No one knows what's going through the mind of that individual or those individuals," said Maciol. "In a split second things could change rapidly. We try to prepare as much as we can. Unfortunately, we don't know what's going to happen, when it's going to happen."

While many stand-offs in recent years locally have come to a peaceful end, many others have not. "We've taken a different approach then traditional policing," said Maciol. "We're certainly doing a lot more training specifically focused on critical incident training. You try to prepare for every scenario that may occur but obviously we know you can not do that."

Still the men and women who put themselves in harm's way every day choose to do so despite the dangers of the job. "The danger for those people who enter the law enforcement fields as those who enter the military, those who become firefighters, the danger has always been there and people enter these fields, these lines of work, knowing that there are certain things they may encounter in their career but they are committed to protecting the people of their community."

Sheriff Maciol says local law enforcement officers are always training. "There's a lot of technical training that occurs, there's a lot of simulated training that occurs. There's a lot of mock situations that are done in training."

Maciol says communicating with other agencies is also extremely important- to meet all of the needs of the community. "There's still 26 towns, 19 villages, 3 cities where those 911 calls for other unrelated things continue to come in. The medical calls, the domestics, the car accident. we've got to be able to handle that large incident and at the same time we need to be able to handle the other dozens and dozens of calls that come in here each and every day."

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