It is one of the largest police agencies in the United States, with approximately sworn officers. Prior tolaw enforcement in Suffolk County was the responsibility of local towns and villages as well as the New York State Police.
From the 17th century until well into the 20th century, many of these jurisdictions employed only part-time constableswho were usually appointed by local communities and paid to enforce court orders. Additional fees were paid for making arrests, serving warrants and transporting prisoners. Few of these constables had any formal law enforcement training, hours were often long and pay was low.
The New York State Police arrived on Long Island inand many towns and villages began forming their own small police forces soon thereafter.
Following World War IIthere was a push to unite the 33 separate law enforcement agencies then operating within Suffolk County. Following the passage, inof state legislation creating the county executive form of government, a referendum was held on the creation of a county police force. The five eastern towns— RiverheadSoutholdShelter IslandEast Hamptonand Southampton —opted to retain their own police forces, and do so to this day, with the Suffolk County Police Department providing support and specialized services.
The towns that voted in favor thus agreed to turn over all their police functions to the new agency. In addition to traditional uniformed patrol services, the new agency agreed to provide: a Detective Bureau, a Communications Bureau, an Identification Bureau, a Central Records Bureau, and a police academy for training new officers.
All incumbent town and village police officers serving in those areas that voted to the police district became members of the new department without further examination or qualification.
In addition, state troopers serving on Long Island who so desired could request appointment to the new force. Criminal investigators in the district attorney's office were appointed the new detectives. The serving town and village police chiefs were typically appointed inspectors, deputy chiefs or assistant chiefs in the new department.
The remaining positions were filled by competitive civil service examinations.
The Suffolk County Police Department officially came into being on January 1,with sworn members. Today, the department has a strength of around 2, sworn officers, making it one of the largest police agencies in the country. In addition to officers, the department also employs civilian members, as well as nearly school crossing guards.
Inthe department announced it would be staffing its public information unit entirely with civilians, thus freeing more officers to return to patrol duty. The department is headed by a civilian police commissioner appointed by the county executive, and police headquarters are located in Yaphank.
On April 9,Geraldine Hart was sworn in as the first female commissioner. She reed inand Stuart Cameron was appointed Acting Commissioner.
The department has a total of seven precincts. Four of the five towns are served by their own precinct, with odd-ed precincts covering the south shore towns and even-ed ones covering the north shore.
The exception is the town of Brookhavenwhose sheer size sprawling from Long Island Sound to the Atlantic Ocean necessitated the establishment of two precincts, the 5th in Patchogue and the 6th in Selden formerly Coram. Due to population growth in the eastern part of Brookhaven, and deployment problems from the existing station houses caused by Long Island's perpetually traffic-choked ro and highways, another precinct the 7th was established in Shirley in the late s.
The Suffolk County Park Police was formerly a distinct law enforcement agency. All personnel from the Parks Police are now employed with the County Police. The Suffolk County Police have investigated several well-known and notorious crimes and incidents, including the Amityville Horror murder case; the case of Richard Angelothe so-called "Angel of Death;" the Katie Beers kidnapping;  the "Suffolk County Sniper" case  and the Ted Ammon murder case.
Between December and Aprileight bodies, four wrapped in burlap sacks, were found dumped on Jones Beach Island near Gilgo Beachand two more were found in neighbouring Nassau County. The remains were located near Ocean Parkway.
Several of the victims who have been identified were sex workers who advertised on Craigslist.
One of the victims was reported missing in Police suspect a serial killer may be responsible for all ten murders. He said, "The difference was, that was all in one place and all at one time.
In recent years, Suffolk officers along with the Nassau County Police Department have become well known in the New York area for their rate of pay, especially as compared with the nearby New York City Police Department. The US Justice Department sued Suffolk in for discriminating against women and people with minority racial identities in police hiring. The county ed a consent decree three years later committing itself to increased minority hiring while denying any intentional discrimination. The of officers with minority racial identities has remained small.
Insix female officers sued the department for sex discrimination over its pregnancy policy and won a judgment from the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission EEOC. The purpose of the program, according to the commissioner, was to demonstrate that the department was not engaging in " racial profiling.
Suffolk County Police and their interrogation methods came under scrutiny due to the handling of the murder case of Seymour and Arlene Tankleff. The Tankleffs' only son, Martin Tankleffwas wrongfully convicted of the crime after police coerced a confession using deception. Lead Detective Kevin James Jim McCready used a ruse in which he claimed that Seymour Tankleff had regained consciousness and had indicated that his son Martin was responsible for the crime.
After serving more than 17 years of imprisonment, his conviction was vacated and he was released from prison in In Tankleff sued Suffolk Countyin addition to individuals who were police officers and county employees at the time of his arrest and trial.
In Julya news reporter, Philip Datz, was arrested by an officer of the Suffolk County Police Department and charged with 'obstruction of governmental administration'. According to the raw footage posted on YouTube,  the credentialed cameraman had been recording the aftermath of a police chase from the opposite side of the street while in a public area when he was approached by the officer and told to "go away" without revealing any cause or reason.
After departing and calling the department's Public Information Office, the videographer relocated a block away and began recording again. The officer pulled up in his cruiser and then arrested the videographer. Charges were later dropped, with the department's claim that officers would undergo 'retraining', but no other assertions have been made or promised.
When the story was widely shared, many members of the public used the department's Facebook to air their grievances, only to have their comments deleted and the later closed to any new comments. In a settlement approved in by the Suffolk County Legislature, the Suffolk County Police Department agreed to annually train and test all police officers on the First Amendment right of the public and the media to observe, photograph and record police activity in public locations. He was convicted of assaulting a man in during an interrogation and obstructing a federal investigation.
The duffel bag contained sex toys, a pornographic DVD and Viagra.
In Decemberan attorney for the family of Shannan Gilbert, who disappeared and was found dead in Oak Beach, reported that an escort had stated that she suspected that Burke might be connected to the Long Island serial killer cases. The escort, who identified herself as "Leanne," stated that at one party she had attended in April in Oak Beach she had seen Burke drag a woman of Asian appearance by the hair to the ground. Leanne said that when she saw Burke at a later party in Augustshe decided to engage in sexual activity with him.
She described an experience in which Burke violently yanked her head during oral sex to the point where she began to tear up.
At the time she was not a professional sex worker and she states that this was the first time she was paid for sex. Burke was reported to have blocked an FBI probe of the Long Island serial killer case during his time as police chief.
Promotion to the ranks of sergeantlieutenantand captain are made via competitive civil service examinations. Promotion to the ranks of detectivedeputy inspector, inspector and chief are made at the discretion of the police commissioner. Along with the services it provided at the beginning, the police department now also provides specialized services, similar to those usually found in the police departments of large cities:.
The Aviation Section is equipped with four helicopters, providing law enforcement, search and rescueand medevac service to the entire county: two twin-engine Eurocopter EC and two single-engine Eurocopter ASB2 patrol helicopters. The SCPD's AS B2s primarily operate in the department's law enforcement missions, but due to the aircraft's cabin-size and flexibility, they are also able to fulfill EMS missions in a backup role.
Arson Squad detectives investigate suspicious fires, bombings, and WMD threats. The Highway Patrol Bureau, which features marked and unmarked patrol cars as well as motorcyclespatrols the Long Island Expressway and Sunrise Highway within the police district. In addition to speed enforcement, it enforces drunk driving laws, motor carrier regulations governing large trucks and buses, and investigates all auto-related fatalities in the police district, regardless of whether or not they occurred on the highway. Levy justified the move on the grounds that the New York State Police ought to be primarily responsible for patrolling state highways.
In the absence of more state troopers, highway patrol functions were transferred to the Suffolk County Sheriff's Office. On Aug. The unit is composed of highly trained officers using specialized equipment in a variety of vehicles. The Suffolk Police Marine Bureau patrols the square miles 1, km 2 of navigable waterways within the police district, from the Connecticut and Rhode Island state line which bisects the Long Island Sound, to the New York state line 3 miles 5 km south of Fire Island in the Atlantic Ocean.
The Bureau is also responsible for patrol of the barrier beach communities of Fire Island, including EMS services in the eastern communities. The Bureau operates 27' and 31' twin outboard SAFE Boatswhich are also certified for patient transport, as well as 40' twin diesel Thomas Marine patrol boats, as well as a variety of other craft for special missions and flood water rescue. Auxiliary officers are civic-minded men and women who volunteer to help their community and the Suffolk County Police Department by performing uniformed patrols throughout Suffolk County to help deter crime.
Up until Auxiliary officers had to go through a hour training course, but due to changes in state legislation, are now required to go through a full hour Peace Officer training program, and are recognized by NY State as full-time Peace Officers. Auxiliary officers, are uniformed, and are equipped with batonshandcuffsand pepper spray. Auxiliary officers who want to carry a firearm on patrol must go through extra training in order to do so.
Auxiliary officers patrol on foot and in fully marked patrol cars.
Auxiliary officers have always had no power beyond a citizen while on duty, although with the new "Peace Officer" deation, that has changed. Even though they hold Peace Officer status, SCPD rules do limit their authority while on duty and a full-time Police Officer is usually called to assist Auxiliaries with police related actions like arrests.
For similarly named law enforcement agencies, see Suffolk Police. Local civilian police. Stuart K. Cameron Acting Police Commissioner. Main article: Long Island serial killer. Main article: Martin Tankleff. New York state portal. January 14, The New York Times.
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