The Suffolk County Police Department is an American public law enforcement body serving the residents of five of the ten towns in Suffolk County, New York State. Suffolk County was founded in 1683 and is named after the county in eastern England of the same name. It is the easternmost county in the New York Metropolitan area and all of New York State.
Before 1960, law enforcement in Suffolk County, as it was in much of the United States, was a heavily localised and was often a part-time affair with local constables who were appointed by local communities and paid to enforce court orders. They could earn additional fees for making arrests, serving warrants and transporting prisoners. Formal law enforcement training was rare, the hours and pay unattractive. After some political maneuvering which saw the five easternmost towns of the county retain their own law enforcement arrangements, the force was founded in 1960. In the region, it now has around 2,500 officers and is one of the largest police agencies in the United States.
Location and organisation
The force covers seven precincts which run west to east along Interstate 495.Its headquarters is situated at Yaphank Avenue in the town of Yaphank, New York. The town of Brookhaven covers two of these precincts. The County Executive appoints a civilian Police Commissioner to head the Department. He has a deputy commissioner and there is also an Office of the Chief of Department to whom heads of specialist services report. The Highway Patrol unit was disbanded in 2008 but there is still a specialist marine unit which patrols the area's 500 square miles of navigable waterways; an area which runs from the Connecticut state line which bisects the Long Island Sound, to the New York state line three miles south of Fire Island in the North Atlantic Ocean.
The service also boosts its numbers by being able to call upon the help of the Suffolk County Auxiliary Police. This is a volunteer Civil Defense force which has been equipped and trained to assist the Suffolk County Police Department in its operations. There are approximately 200 of these volunteer officers who assist by providing extra intelligence and information as well as key help in times of natural or man-made disaster. The department is keen to see its officers maintain the highest possible professional and ethical standards and looks to its workforce to embrace what it calls the 'five Es'. These are: Energy (relating to the officer's work ethic), Enthusiasm, Efficiency, Effectiveness and Ethics. The force is not to be confused with the Suffolk constabulary which operates in the English county of Suffolk in East Anglia.