The Oneida Daily Dispatch (Oneida, NY)

Oneida Police Chief Little retires

- By Roger Seibert rseibert@oneidadisp­

ONEIDA, N.Y. >> Oneida City Police Chief John Little retired Monday morning on his birthday after serving over 20 years total in law enforcemen­t. He will be replaced by Steven Lowell. Lowell and other officers receiving promotions will be sworn in at a ceremony at Oneida City Hall on March 9 at 6 p.m.

“I started law enforcemen­t in 2000 and I’ve been chief since 2020. It’s my twenty-third year overall. My wife and I talked it over, and I just felt it is time,” Little recently told the Dispatch.

Little had considered leaving his position last year and now has made a final decision.

“During the past year some things happened, and I weighed them over,” he said. “I just feel like time is rushing at me. I have goals, I’m still healthy, and my wife and I want to figure out what the next year will bring.”

Oneida Public Safety Commission­er Kevin Salerno named Little chief in 2020 after his predecesso­r, Paul Thompson, retired. Thompson was named chief after longtime chief David Meeker retired for medical reasons.

Thompson, a 27-year police veteran, was named interim chief in October 2016 after Meeker fell ill and named chief in December that year. Meeker joined the Oneida police in 1981 and was named chief in 1999. Meeker passed away in 2017.

Little started his service with the Oneida police in December 2002. He served as investigat­or, sergeant of investigat­ions, lieutenant, assistant chief, and was promoted to chief Nov. 6. 2020. Little was a road patrol deputy with the Oneida County Sheriff’s Department from 2000 to 2002. He also served as an instructor at the Mohawk Valley Police Academy.

Through all the challenges Little said Oneida has supported its police force.

“We have a great group of people to keep the city safe, and it’s a great place to work,” he said. “The support from our citizens is head and shoulders above a lot of other cities. I want to thank our citizens. They’ve been our greatest ally.

“We’ve done a good job in Oneida by redoubling our efforts to connect with people, to be more approachab­le, to engage in community events, to be someone that the community trusts,” he continued. “I think we’ve made some big strides towards that goal.”

Whatever the future holds, Little said he appreciate­s his time in Oneida. “I’m going to miss the officers and the citizens supporting them,” he said.

 ?? ROGER SEIBERT — MEDIANEWS GROUP ?? Oneida City Police Chief John Little retired effective Feb. 20.
ROGER SEIBERT — MEDIANEWS GROUP Oneida City Police Chief John Little retired effective Feb. 20.

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