Suffolk cops resume patrols on LIE's HOV lanes

Wording in a state contract is forcing Suffolk County highway police officers to resume patrols on the Long Island Expressway.
Suffolk County highway officers will resume patrols on HOV lanes of the LIE until December. The officers had been replaced by deputy sheriffs two weeks ago in a money-saving move by County Executive Steve Levy.
A contract with the state reimburses the county only for HOV patrols done by county officers. The county intends on reworking the deal to include the deputies when the contract is renewed.
Critics of Levy's move say the deputies are not qualified and the money saved is minimal. A request by the Suffolk PBA to the state for an immediate injunction to stop the use of deputy sheriffs was rejected Monday.
Levy maintains the deputies are qualified for the job.
"We knew that sheriffs could handle this because they've been doing it for years on the East End of the Island, on the LIE and Sunrise Highway in the eastern roads," says Levy. "So if they can do it on the East End, why would anyone say they couldn't handle it on the West End?"