First African-American Suffolk County Sheriff

January 12, 2018- Brentwood–Governor Andrew M. Cuomo swears in Errol Toulon Jr. as Suffolk County’s first African-American Sheriff at Suffolk Community College in Brentwood. Looking on is Sheriff Toulon’s wife, Christina. (Photo by Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo via The Suffolk Times)

Errol Toulon Jr. was sworn in as Suffolk County sheriff in Brentwood, Long Island, in what was a historic event, reports Taylor K. Vecsey in The Suffolk Times.

The 67th sheriff to serve the county, he is not only the first African-American to serve in the post, but the first African-American elected to a non-judicial county-wide seat in the county’s history.

“We’ve reached a new level, not since 1683, when they had the first sheriff of Suffolk County,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who led Mr. Toulon in the oath of office. “This sheriff is different.”

The new sheriff spent 20 years working with the NYC Department of Correction, including as deputy commissioner. A few years back he served in Suffolk County as assistant deputy county executive for public safety. Toulon vowed to make employees at the sheriff’s department up-to-date in their training.

“How do you hold someone accountable to do their job if they haven’t been training in four, five, six years?” he said. “We can’t get around not training our staff and I’m not going to let that happen.”

Under his supervision are 900 correction officers, sworn peace officers who are charged with the care, custody and control of the inmates, 270 deputy sheriffs, who are sworn police officers and oversee evictions, orders of protections, warrants and more, as well as 120 civilian employees.

Mr. Toulon said he plans be visible in the community so he can not only hear community concerns, allow the community knows what the sheriff does, but also as a recruitment tool. “I do think that the sheriff’s office is a forgotten piece of law enforcement in the community,” he said.

Go to The Suffolk Times to read what Toulon had to say about his close win and late entry into the race, and how some of his life experiences may have helped him to become a leader.

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