The Oneida County Sheriff's Law Enforcement Foundation is hosting a Community Bridge Event as a way to build on the relationship with local law enforcement and the community.

More than 800 students from the Utica City School District visited the National Guard Armory today where they got a first-hand look at equipment used by the Utica and Rome police departments, the Sheriff's Office, State Police and the Army National Guard.

Oneida County Sheriff Rob Maciol said the event is a way to connect with the community and show the kids what goes into local law enforcement.

"We want the kids to know that yes we're normal people just like their brothers or sisters, or their moms or dads or whomever," said Sheriff Maciol. "But at the same time we are police officers and it's our job to keep them safe."

The event features interactive displays of equipment used by local law enforcement, and the students were all given presentations on individual areas or police work.

"We have classrooms broken up where all the kids are going from different stations to different stations, learning about k-9's, they're learning about forensics, and they're seeing some of the SWAT team's robots at work," Maciol added.

The Community Bridge Event will be opened up to the public from 2:00 to 6:00 this evening, and local residents are encouraged to attend.