Suffolk executive, police officials announce largest hiring of officers in county history
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and top police officials announced the largest hiring of law enforcement officers over a 12-month period in the county's history.
Bellone said he was able to partially fund this endeavor with federal dollars.
"We lost revenue from the pandemic, from the shutdown, property tax revenue, so we're using American Recovery Act funding to help replace that property tax revenue, and of course of this helps support the hiring of new law enforcement officers, so that funding was critical," said Bellone.
There are 705 law enforcement officers that will be hired in total across different fields over the next 12 months.
There were 462 Suffolk police officers, 146 Suffolk corrections officers, 20 Suffolk probation officers and 77 deputy sheriffs who were appointed to their new positions.
Training will be dispersed across several classes at the Police Academy.
The Suffolk County police exam is given every four years. All of the new recruits would have had to take the test in 2019 and already be on the list for admittance.
It comes at a time when the county has been trying to diversify its ranks and is also dealing with an above average number of retirements.
"It really is an opportune time to bring new officers on," said acting Police Commissioner Stuart Cameron. "We just finished our police reform plan."
Shanequa Levin, of LI United to Transform Policing and Community Safety, does not support adding more police but believes there should be more Black people on the police force.
The county executive and acting police commissioner shared that they will continue to be concerned about diversity.
As of now, Suffolk County officials say 10% of all new police classes are Spanish speakers.