The Oneida County Legislature at their Wednesday meeting unanimously approved the creation of 23 part-time special patrol officers, at $25.48 an hour. The Oneida County Sheriff will hire the retired peace and police officers, who will work in at least five school districts that are currently finalizing contracts with the sheriff's department.
"Creating these positions today will allow me to hire people part time for these positions once these contracts are signed and approved, because we want to get everything in place by September," said Sheriff Robert Maciol.
The legislature approved $500,000 for the SPOs; the school districts getting them will match that amount.
"For some of them, this is their first uniformed armed presence on their school campus. If we had our way, we'd have them in every school. We're hoping that we get there. This is a great start, though," said Maciol.
Special patrol officers, unlike school resource officers, deal only with security issues.
"These SPOs are there to deal with upset parents, possibly break up a fight if there's one in the cafeteria, to assist with any security related issue the school may have," said Maciol.