Sheriff Maciol looking to create more positions at Child Advocacy Center

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The people who investigate sex crimes against children at the Child Advocacy Center in Utica are overloaded with as many as 40 open cases each at any given time.

The Oneida County Sheriff's Department oversees operation of the center. Sheriff Robert Maciol is asking the county legislature to approve the creation of two deputy positions so that he can shift two investigators to the center. The sheriff says sex crimes against children are on the rise, and more investigators are needed to combat them and bring child predators to justice.

"In 2009 there was about 433 cases. Looks like 2012 is going to close out with about 545 cases of incidents against our children," says Maciol.

Belt-tightening over the past couple of years has brought the sheriff's department a roughly $5 million surplus, so they have the money to hire the new officers; but because it involves more than $5000, the legislature must approve the use of it.

The sheriff says the only way to address the overabundance of cases is to hire more investigators. He thinks it's good use of a hard-earned surplus.

"These are predators who are victimizing our children. They're children who in many cases don't have anyone but the police and the DA'S office and the county to stand up for them and fight for them." says Maciol.

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