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Shelley takes oath of office as new Onondaga County Sheriff

Toby Shelley takes the oath of office as the new Onondaga County Sheriff
Ellen Abbott
Toby Shelley takes the oath of office as the new Onondaga County Sheriff

Toby Shelley has been sworn in as the new sheriff of Onondaga County. Shelley and six deputies took the oath of office in Solvay Monday, as he prepares to become sheriff January 1.

Shelley said much of his initial time in office will involve learning the basics. It’s something that he and his staff haven’t been able to do since beating Republican Esteban Gonzalez by more than 3,500 votes in the November election.

Shelley said there simply was no transition offered by the outgoing administration.

"The right thing to do is put your arm around me and show me what you’re doing. And all our chiefs have a counterpart, and they should have been showed what they’re doing, what projects they’re working on, things like that,” Shelley said. “That’s the transition we needed."

Shelley said the transition to the police end of things should be seamless, but expects catching up on all the administrative ins and outs will take a lot of time.

"We’re going to get our feet wet having been gone 11 years,” he said. “And without the transition we had hoped for, I can do the police work but it’s the other stuff we’re not familiar with, so catching up on all that.”

Also facing the sheriff’s department is a proposal that would shut down the Jamesville Correctional Facility, and consolidate the county’s two jails under one roof at the downtown Justice Center. The county legislature is expected to begin studying that issue in January.

Beyond that, Shelley has one overriding hope during his tenure as sheriff.

"Making the place better, and improving morale. That’s going to give me the most satisfaction."

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.