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Vehicles top the list of Onondaga County Sheriff's budget needs

The back lights of a Onondaga County Sheriff's department vehicle shine as the sun sets in Marcelllus.
Joe Strom
Onondaga County Sheriff's Department instagram
The back lights of a Onondaga County Sheriff's department vehicle shine as the sun sets in Marcelllus, Aug. 27, 2022.

Onondaga County Sheriff Gene Conway is asking the county to allocate around just more than $600,000 so the Sheriff’s Department can purchase more patrol vehicles.

Conway detailed the ask during the Onondaga County Legislature's week-long review of the county executive's proposed budget for 2023.

At a review of public safety department budgets on Wednesday, Conway said the agency's vehicles serve as the lifeblood of the department.

"But in custody, we need to transport people. We have to transport them to the court. We have to transport them to the doctor's appointments. We have to transport them when they've been sentenced to stay at facility. We have detectives that respond to calls after hours," Conway said.

The sheriff told legislators the current supply and demand issues make acquiring any vehicle challenging, and they’ve fallen behind in building their fleet.

Conway said the department would also need money to recycle materials from old vehicles and purchase equipment for the new ones. The department’s current budget for vehicles is $325,000, which Conway said covers seven vehicles. The vehicle budget has been the same since 2018.

The sheriff's department is also looking for funding for travel and training.

"Our travel and training budget is not only just for deputies going to training, it’s mixed in with our obligation to go and bring back people to this area who have taken off, who have fled," Conway said.

Conway added that giving deputies helicopter training, also known as Air One training, will be covered by what is in the budget. County lawmakers will issue a final review of all department spending plans proposed in the 2023 budget on Thursday. A public hearing is set for Oct. 6.

Jeremy Striano is a graduate student studying Broadcast and Digital Journalism at Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School Of Public Communications, expected to graduate in May of 2023. As a Multimedia Reporter. Jeremy enjoys listening to show tunes and watching broadway musicals as well as trying different kinds of beers. You can follow him on Twitter @JPStriano98