Mayor Barlow anounces task force to combat illegal drugs in Oswego

OSWEGO, N.Y. — Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow announced the creation of the City of Oswego Drug Task Force, aimed at combating the use of hard drugs in and around the city. 

In a statement on Thursday the mayor announced the creation of the task force, which was first mentioned during his State of the City address earlier this year. Barlow believes devoting resources into the city’s efforts will be more effective than previous programs that operated at the county level. 

“The county task force results have been lackluster to date,” Mayor Barlow said in his State of the City Address in January. “With resources stretched too thin and the scope too wide for our urgent needs.”

Mayor Billy Barlow announced the creation of a new drug task force operated by the city’s police department on Twitter Thursday.

The city’s task force is being funded by a $250,000 allocation for the police department to dedicate resources to tackling drug related activity in Oswego. Several officers will be assigned to the task force, which will allow them to focus on the impact of illegal drugs in the city. These officers will perform in-depth investigations, increase surveillance operations, and other enforcement details. 

“Combating the rise of the presence of drugs and associated crime that comes with it is at the top of our priority list,” Mayor Barlow said. 

The Oswego Police Department is undergoing several changes this year to increase diversity and retain existing officers. Restructuring of the department’s organization began last month, and the city is working to hire more female officers in the coming years. A renewed contract between the city and Lake City Police Club, which represents employees of the department, will increase the average officer’s salary by 30% over the next five years.