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Steve Lowell sworn in as Oneida police chief

Casey Pritchard
Staff writer
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Posted 3/11/23

Steve Lowell was sworn in as Oneida’s new police chief on Thursday in the Common Council chambers of City Hall.

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Steve Lowell sworn in as Oneida police chief


ONEIDA — Steve Lowell was sworn in as Oneida’s new police chief on Thursday in the Common Council chambers of City Hall.

Along with a new police chief, the Oneida Police Department welcomed a new assistant police chief, two new sergeants, a lieutenant and three new officers to its ranks.

“I applaud and thank you all for your service,” Mayor Helen Acker said. “We’re all very fortunate here in Oneida to have such a fabulous police department.”

“Steve Lowell served the Oneida PD first as an intern while in high school,” Public Safety Commissioner Kevin Salerno said. “He began his police career as a part-time officer for the Canastota Police Department in May 2009 and joined the Oneida PD in December 2009 as a full-time officer.”

Salerno extolled Lowell’s efforts over the course of his career, whether they were educational presentations at schools or community events.

Lowell has received several awards for recognition throughout his career, including the Oneida’s Club Officer of the Year and the Madison County DWI awards from 2009 to 2013 and 2016 to 2019.

And besides his service to the community, Salerno cited the new chief’s dedication to the department — such as his efforts to write and submit several grants since 2010, acquiring more than $600,000 and new equipment for officers.

“And at the age of 36, he is the youngest police chief in the agency’s history,” Salerno said.

After taking his oath of office and having his badge pinned, Lowell said a few words to the packed audience.

“My first exposure to working as a police officer was with the Village of Canastota,” he recalled. “Chief Zophy took a chance on hiring a kid who wouldn’t stop calling and he didn’t know. ... It was with the village where I learned the values of community, trust, professional police service through quality contacts, and being respectful above all else, regardless of a person’s station in life.”

“I want to thank all the chiefs before me for setting their individual legacies which I have learned from,” he continued. “I take the torch tonight not lightly, knowing that I have a responsibility to protect the integrity of the Oneida Police Department. I am honored to take an oath to serve this great city with the men and women of the [OPD].”

Lowell said he’s dedicated to protecting and upholding the values of the city of Oneida that have been forged over time and continuing that legacy.

“The men and women of the Oneida Police Department will continue to work with and for the community to build sustainable strategies and practices that reflect what Oneida is all about,” he said. “We will operate to hold drug dealers accountable and align those in need with adequate services to address the root causes of issues, not just symptoms of circumstances.”

Sworn in alongside the chief were officers Alyssa LaPerla, Nicholas Weber, Zachary Przybyla, sergeants Matthew Mosack and Tyler Witchley, Lieutenant Keith Hudson, and Assistant Chief Matthew Colella.

“The city of Oneida and our police department are blessed to have devoted, quality officers and support staff,” Lowell said. “It is only with these unwavering people that we can continue our steadfast mission to excellence through courteous vigilance.”


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