BRENTWOOD, NY – Suffolk County Police recruits prepare to join the force.
County executive Steve Bellone on Monday announced the hiring of 705 law enforcement officers over the next 12 months. Bellone said 462 recruits will join the Suffolk County Police Department, 146 will become correctional officers, 20 will be probation officers and 77 will be sheriff’s deputies.
The dramatic boost will help keep the county safe, Bellone said. Total crime in Suffolk has fallen 6.8% since the start of the year.
The jobs will be funded by COVID-19 emergency federal funds received as part of the US bailout.
“We have applied and used these funds in a way that protects the long-term safety and security of the county,” he said.
Suffolk County is using more than $ 70 million to offset lost property tax revenue during the pandemic.
“Sales tax revenue is increased and that will pay off for the police as we move forward,” economist Dr. Martin Cantor told FOX 5 NY.
The number of members of the police will fill the places of those who have retired and will ultimately be greater than that before the pandemic; 10% of new recruits will be Spanish speaking.
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Unvaccinated members of the NYPD can also take on roles once the city’s vaccination mandate has been scrambled.
“This unprecedented level of hiring will re-establish SCPD staff and make Suffolk one of the safest places to reside,” Acting Police Commissioner Stuart Cameron said.
Louis Civello of Suffolk PBA called this a win-win.
“There are a lot of places where they fund police services, but that is not the case in Suffolk County,” he said.
Although there is no warrant for vaccination in Suffolk County, Bellone said agents seeking to come from the NYPD must have passed the police test as of 2019 and will be removed from the list. The next test is in 2023.