Oneida County Sheriff's Office Special Patrol Officers will soon be in all ten of the Utica City School District's elementary schools.

County Executive Anthony Picente and Sheriff Rob Maciol signed an agreement with Superintendent Bruce Karam at Jefferson Elementary School on Monday.

Picente say with the addition of Utica, there are now 50 SPOs assigned to eight school districts in the county.  Picente announced the $500,000 initiative in April.

The officers are assigned and paid through the Sheriff's Office.

“Today the students, parents, faculty and staff of the Utica City School District can rest a little easier knowing that highly-trained and armed retired law enforcement officers will be stationed in each elementary school with the sole purpose of protecting that facility from outside harm,” Picente said. “When I first announced I was making this funding available to our school districts, I did so because I felt it was essential for someone to take action against the seemingly never-ending stream of school shootings and violence. It brings me great comfort to know that our County’s largest school district is now a more secure place.”

Karam says the safety and security of students and staff has always been and continues to be a top priority and the deployment of the officers will greatly enhance overall security in the district's buildings.

The SPOs are expected to assume duty in Utica schools next month.

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