ORISKANY, N.Y. -- The largest and most diverse group of recruits are joining the Oneida County Sheriff's Department.
A total of 20 men and women took the oath of office to serve and protect at a swearing in ceremony.
The sheriff's department has seen a dramatic drop in staff due to retirements.
This new group will be helping to relieve the staffing shortage, but not until they complete 26 consecutive weeks of intense training at the police academy, and 12 weeks of field training.
“Even though these men and women are part of the sheriff's office, they're not going to be out on the street just yet working, so we still have, and that's where the dedication of where our other members of the Sheriff's Office, the men and women, that's where their dedication comes in to play because their still working a lot of overtime to fill the gaps while these folks are still training,” said Oneida County Sheriff Rob Maciol.
The sheriff says while there typically is a few that end up dropping out of the academy, he's confident this group is such a physically and mentally strong group of recruits, their more than capable of graduating, and expects the group to stick together.
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