Area agencies step up patrols near schools

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In the wake of the mass shooting at an elementary school in Texas on Tuesday, multiple law enforcement agencies in Oneida and Madison counties have released messages to assure local parents that there will be an increased presence at local schools, and that there are no known local threats.

“All of us at the Sheriff’s Office understand it is very hard to process the tragic events that occurred at Robb Elementary School in Texas. The members of the Sheriff’s Office are made up of mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers, and sisters — this is also our worst fear,” said Oneida County Sheriff Robert M. Maciol.

“Please understand that there is currently no known threat in our area schools. Out of an abundance of caution, you will see more Sheriff’s Office members around our schools.”

The Oneida County Sheriff’s Office has school resources officers in several Oneida County school districts.

Maciol said his deputies may or may not be in marked patrol cars, and some of them may be in plain clothes. Maciol said he does not want to raise anyone’s concern, just to let parents, teachers and students know that the officers are there as support.

“The Madison County Sheriff’s Office is saddened and disturbed by the loss of innocent lives in Texas. We take school safety and the safety of our community very seriously,” officials said.

The office, headed by Madison County Sheriff Todd Hood, said its has been in contact with all Madison County school districts about adding extra deputies on patrol on local campuses.

There are currently 10 school resources officers assigned to Madison County schools.

The Oneida Police Department, likewise, confirmed that there “are not any known local threats” and that police officers will be both inside and outside of all the schools in the City of Oneida.

“In the wake of the terrible, tragic, and disturbing events we have all recently seen in our country, we continue to recognize the importance and need to ensure safety and security, especially in our schools,” said Oneida Police officials.

“We take the task of protecting our children and schools very seriously, and we will continue to work with the Oneida City School District, throughout our long-standing partnership, to ensure that we can continue to provide the best level of safety and security we possibly can,” the department’s statement added.

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