Sound Off: Should the SCPD Patrol the LIE and Sunrise Highway?

Suffolk County Sheriff's deputies have been patrolling the roads since 2008, but County Executive-elect Steve Bellone says that could change.

Steve Bellone told News12 this week that "law enforcement in this county is at war with one another."

The county executive-elect was referring to a controversial decision made by County Executive Steve Levy in 2008 to replace Suffolk County police officers with county sheriff's deputies when it comes to patrolling the Long Island Expressway and Sunrise Highway. 

Bellone said that policy will be re-evaluated when he takes office.

"That is something we are going to be looking at without question," he told News12.

Levy has said the patrol switch has saved the county money because sheriff's deputies are paid less than Suffolk County police officers.

What's your take? Who should patrol the Long Island Expressway and Sunrise Highway? Vote in the poll below and share your thoughts in the comments. 

JQP December 23, 2011 at 07:04 AM
Westchester County PD taking over Ossining Town PD, and looking to take over other locals? Rockland's towns looking to form a county PD with their sheriff's patrol division? Besides these, name some county PD's in NYS (and not Parkway PD's) that disbanded. Maybe if you left the island once in a while you'd realize that the rest of the state, at least downstate, is consolidation-crazy right now.
Robert T. December 23, 2011 at 01:30 PM
I can see their is a battle going on between departments....STOP! It doesn't solve anything but hate, it's wrong. The issue is to save money, period. We are all tax payers....it does not matter what department handles law enforcement. We need to think with open minds. We need to cut spending and improve safety, long term. Maybe the best thing would to combine all departments into one or dissolve one into an other....or completely change policies, revamp on how things are done...but we need change. Taxes are to high. The bottom line Is we need to cut wasteful money...in law informant and in education. We need to cut and/or get rid of high paying positions in Education and over-time pay in Law enforcement. Police departments (County, sheriff, Troopers) should not be fighting each other but join together and figure out how to save money for all tax payers...keep in mind that for the majority of people have not had a raise in salary but continuously pay out more for taxes, medical, food, housing...for the basics of life. Stop complaining...on who controls what, it's sick.
Tre December 23, 2011 at 01:40 PM
Our politicians have used most of the funds on themselves so we need to cut back somehow
J.R. December 23, 2011 at 02:21 PM
Wow, I couldn't decide which one that writer was, an envious deputy that feels underappreciated or Steve Levy himself in disguise. Politics??? Seriously?? You really think this move was initially done to save money?? If you think so you're just in denial or as clueless as the general public. This move didn't save a dime?? With the amount of cars, equipment, training and OT that was made by the deputies this probably cost more than it saved. Not to mentions the lives it put in jeopardy putting deputies on the LIE that were clueless how to properly shut down the highways and being unfamiliar with the LIE resulting in increased response time. This was solely done to stick it to the PBA for openly opposing Levy's "my way or the highway" stance on EVERYTHING. Steve Levy without a doubt will go down as the most underminding, vendictive, egotistical manipulative, and misleading County Exec. ever. I give him credit though, he is without a doubt a master of illusions. He could twist a statistic into whatever he wants it to say and he always has an answer for everything. He could put his arm around you and convince you he's saving you money as he steals the money from your pocket. All Bellone is doing is undoing a wrong that should've never been done in the first place.
Gail Francis December 24, 2011 at 01:01 AM
Worked for the SCPD for a long time. I started in the Academy when it was in the NYS Armory in Nesconset. I also worked in the Westhampton facility, and EVOC was there at that time. I knew those men who worked there, and they were exceptional at training our officers. So there is no doubt in my mind that our SCPD men and women are more than qualified to handle the responsibility of patroling the LIE and Sunrise. Yes, this 'job' needs to be handled by our Suffolk County PD. It is the right thing to do!
Douglas Lotten December 24, 2011 at 11:55 AM
What ever happened to, " What happens in the House, stays in the House" It is a shame to read the statements above. You are tarnishing the Shield in your pocket.
Chris M December 24, 2011 at 04:28 PM
In my opinion, until some of the Deputy Sherrifs learn how to set up flares properly(not in the "surprise" around the bend formation) SCPD should retake the highway. Furthermore, if The Deputy Sherrifs want to ride the Sunrise and LIE all day maybe they could transport the defendents that the SCPD detains from the precincts to 1st District court for processing.
CiCi December 30, 2011 at 12:18 AM
The bottom line is STATE roads should be paid for by the STATE, not by our county taxes. Long Island always gets the short end of the stick, and we would not be arguing about this if the higher ups at the state level paid to patrol our highways the same way they pay for all the other roads upstate.
Karen Murphy December 30, 2011 at 08:34 PM
Since the sheriffs took over our highways have become speedways! Does anyone worry about getting a ticket like when scpd patrolled the roads? It's a free for all! I think the police did a much better job! You can't believe any statistic that came from either demarco or levy stated! They made things up to suite themselves. Thank god they are both gone!
John D December 30, 2011 at 09:31 PM
Okay boys and girls, simmer down. The question is " Who should patrol the LIE and Sunrise Hwy?" Since they are STATE roads, the New York State Troopers should patrol the STATE roads, but somewhere along the way the powers that be wanted locals to patrol the roads and "save money". The county said the cost was too much and they could do it cheaper. Obviously that has not happened - no money saved - whether it be Suffolk police or Sheriffs. My personal observation was that the Sherrifs seemed to have more people pulled over everytime I seem them, while the SCPD seemd to be always on the side of the road. I think to take politics out of the picture and put safety and the Laws back on the street, it should go to the State Police. Our taxes are paying for this, we should get what we are paying for. If the State Police ask for backup, it should be whoever is closest to the accident or situation. End of story. Anything else is just politics and corruption. Anyone want to argue THAT point?!
old timer January 05, 2012 at 10:01 PM
The simplest task (Traffic tickets) of either is just that "Simple". Its all the other duties that the Levy appointed deputy plan that were not thought out fully. Like How a pursuit is orchastrated and monitored with assisting units for the general safety of all involved. Like how a fatal accident is handled and investigated and by who? Like how a crime scene is secured and treated to give the investigators non contaminated scene that can result in the proper criminal prosecutions of the guilty parties. Every time a deputy has to leave the highway to continue on an additiuonal police task, EX) Pursuits, Rescues, First aid it now requires the time consuming task of notifying the Police dept and adjoining sector units who were in the dark of said assist instead of a centralized communication unit keeping all units notified. Levy claimed that this was strictly done as a cost saving measure which has been proven to not be true. The deputy might earn a few dollars less during his shift but the additional cost of having to give each deputy his own personal vehicle ( Sheriff Contract) far outweighs the cost of vehicles being utilized by all shifts of the police dept. It's easy to prop up what seems to be a cost effective measure and fool the people but when the empty shell is exposed and the truth comes out it becomes time to fix the problem.
greatsouthbay January 05, 2012 at 10:27 PM
yes, why not is seems to be working...
greatsouthbay January 05, 2012 at 10:32 PM
I meant that the Sheriff patrols seem to be working...
old timer January 08, 2012 at 06:32 AM
Really? I thought the Deputies sheriff academy was located off Old country road in West hampton and the Suffolk Police academy was located in Brentwood. I thought The training staff at the Police Academy were comprised of Suffolk Police, Suffolk DA's , Suffolk Medical examiners etc. I thought the deputies were trained by Sheriff staff instructors. I believe they both utilize the same EVOC course as well as Firing range but thats pretty far from being the same. I believe the sheriffs do have the advantage when it comes to civil matters, evictions, delivering orders of protection and so on. But when it comes to investigating crimes , collecting evidence, testifying I'm guessing theres a slight difference in the training proceedure.
old timer January 08, 2012 at 06:34 AM
And as far as disolving the PD in favor of the Sheriffs office I would object to that. Mostly because I think it would be unfair to the 250 deputies that would have to be laid off to make room for the higher qualified police personel that would take their jobs.
Donald January 13, 2012 at 02:45 PM
These are state highways and should be patrolled by State Police. This whole sheriffs vs police is all political. Most of these comments are made by Suffolk Police, that's obvious. Their made up stories about deputies who can't stomach a serious accident, or can't light a flare are a pathetic smear attempt. Fact is Suffolk Deputies are police officer who are trained by Suffolk Police at their police academy in Brentwood. Put the State Police on they highways and end this nonsense. We pay the highest in taxes down here on LI, yet we get minimal to no services.
Joe January 13, 2012 at 04:47 PM
Donald is correct in that the LIE as well as the Sunrise Hwy are in fact State roads and should be patrolled by the State police. Donald fails to mention, The State was suppose to originally patrol these . ( Remember the barracks on the Sunrise in Oakdale) but due to budget problems of the 70's they worked out a deal with Nassau and Suffolk counties to have the Police depts man them and the State would reimburse the counties . From Day one this agreement was broken by the State. They would only make small partial payments.This went on for a period of time. In the 1980's The Halpin administration tried to get the State to pay the owed amount and failed. The County was now hurting financially and the new Gaffney Administration decided to threaten the State that the County would pull it's patrol off the State roads unless payment was made. ( In meetings with the County legislature it was brought up and decided that the safety of the people of Suffolk were more important). That's where Steve Levy got the idea. He was at those meetings. He knew that it was talked about as a way of getting the County money it was owed, Not as a way to build one county dept bigger and shrink another. Steve Levy on the other hand who has had personal problems with the SCPD chose this tact as a way of killing two birds with one stone. If Levy would have actually wanted to save the County money he would have fought the State and made them pay their fare share and avoided this whole mess.
Donald January 14, 2012 at 06:22 AM
Yes Joe, I do remember the NYSP Barrack. But you're wrong, it was in Islip Terrace, not Oakdale. Either way, these are state highways. This should be Andrews problem, not Bellones. It's a political game and has turned into mess. IMO the SCPD and their union are overpaid political thugs. Their union has politicians in their pockets all the way to Albany and Bellone is one of them. Bellone was given big $$ and backed by the SCPD and in turn has promised SCPD the highways back. He's attended a few of their union meetings, and has told them this. I'm a retired NYPD detective and a volunteer firefighter who deals with law enforcement on Sunrise Hwy and I can say I'd like the Sheriffs to stay on the highways if it has to be a county agency. They're more professional, their attitudes are better and their reponse times are much better. Serious accidents are down since the Sheriffs have been on the Highways according to NYS DOT (facts are facts). I read all these made up smear stories on here and they can only be coming from our own "professional" SCPD members and it disgusts me how they lie. But like I said in an earlier post. These are state highways and should be the states problem, we pay enough in taxes down here, we deserve state services too!
thomas January 19, 2012 at 04:49 AM
Nick j, your completely wrong because Deputy Sheriffs have saves the county so much money, and hey isn't that what this world is about. Deputies are trained the exact same way and are equipped with the same equipment as the Suffolk County Police HWY Patrol when they were on the highways. They are more then qulified for the job, or else they wouldn't be there. They've done a great job keeping the highways safe. They do their job, what there supposed to do and go home to their families at night. They wouldnt be there if they weren't trained properly and equipped with the correct and proper equipment used for the job.
John Q. Taxpayer February 03, 2012 at 09:08 PM
The county sheriff is required by the N.Y.S. Constitution. The police Department is based on municipal law. The duties of the Sheriffs Office are clear and public safety is one of them. Also since when did speeding, or unsafe lane changes become a criminal act? If so many writers feel the Deputy Sheriffs should stick to civil law enforcment duties, well the issuance of the accusatory summons with a monetary fine appears to be more of a civil law enforcment function than criminal. Take the HIGLY trained police officers and put them on the streets to fight the criminal element....murderers, drug dealers, rapists, etc.... b/Sing about who should be on the Hwy come on... Do what Miami and Las Vegas have done and create a metropolitan police force in the county. Imagine the savings in money and time, arresting officer drops off perp at central station next officer does paperwork then turns perp over to corrections officer etc....etc....etc how many other police departments are in the villages and towns. Please give it a break, this is all about overtime and padding your pensions at the end nothing more....YAWN..... Please don't give me the liberal B/S and try to guess what I do for a living...... ;-)
John Q. Taxpayer February 03, 2012 at 09:20 PM
There are only 110 Deputy Sheriffs in N.Y.C , that includes all ranks Undersheriffs, Lieutenants, Seargants , and finally Deputy Sheriffs
Makes Sense May 25, 2012 at 01:26 PM
SOLUTION!!! State Troopers should patrol the Long Island Expressway from the beginning of Nassau County line to the end of the Suffolk County Line. The State should absorb this not the counties. We are paying enough money in taxes and with all these financial constraints placed on the two counties on Long Islamd, its clearly evident that cuts need to be made somewhere. LETS START HERE!!!! Take County Police off the Interstate and other State Roads, and have TROOPERS (New York State Police) patrol them. This would save millions.
bucklee November 21, 2012 at 07:43 PM
It doesnt matter who does the patrols, they are both corrupt agencys, PERIOD.
bucklee November 21, 2012 at 07:47 PM
Hey dude, state troopers like the SCPD and the Suff sheriffs are all corrupt and makes no difference who does the patrols. Ive seen all 3 standing by doing nothing as 110 MPH speeders rock and roll the LIE, and all the parkways. They dont POLICE, they wait until a radio dispatcher tells them someone called to report a texter, speeder, a bonger etc etc, THEY DONT LOOK FOR IT. They hide. They are for the most part USELESS POLICE DEPT's. The End Tune in to their frequencys and you'll find out. I do 24 hrs a day.
bucklee November 21, 2012 at 08:18 PM
No solution at all. Its just more juggling of agencys. We pay taxes to all the agencys, State, county and locals.
bucklee November 21, 2012 at 08:19 PM
Lets put this in perspective, Bellone, Cuomo Levy and all the other loser politicians dont care at all who patrols the LIE, State or county roads, All they care about is their own fat butts and wallets. They are simply corrupt, ego maniacs who care about one thing and one thing only. THEMSELVES. They could care less if Joe Cop Patrolman gets his head blown off in a traffic stop gone bad. PROOF of that just happened recently in NYC. Blabber mouth Bloomersburg did his "media thing" and that was it. When the day comes that ANY PD stops a speedster, texter, or boozer on their own volition, then things will matter, As it stands now, they sit in the trees waiting for a dispatched complaint from a motorist. Ive watched and seen this. And until a true police officer gets his badge, this is the way it will stay, fat cat politicians blowing smoke up the taxpayers clothes.
EmergencyMD November 26, 2012 at 01:39 AM
Coming from a person who has high ranking family members in BOTH departments; the sheriffs have done just a good of a job as any patrolling the highways. Those that say different are disgruntled SCPD employees. Also to make a point, Levy took highway away and attempted to give to State Troopers. SCSD was handed it only when Troopers refused. Until SCPD gets rid of their affirmative action policy and starts hiring qualified officers based on merit instead of ethnicity the department will continue to deteriorate in my eyes....
John D November 26, 2012 at 02:34 AM
Well since the SCPD has taken over the patrolling of Sunrise Hwy I have only seen 1 SCPD vehicle- that means 1 car in 4 days. But when the Sheriffs dept was patrolling I saw 3- 4 Sheriffs cars - per day! So much for the overpaid, SCPD! I voted for Ballone, but now this, along with his other moves, I am sorry that I did. When's the next election? Sign me as "Disgusted on the South Shore"
EmergencyMD November 26, 2012 at 03:15 AM
1+ John D
Chris F November 26, 2012 at 08:19 PM
Went out to Riverhead from southwestern Suffolk yesterday - Sunrise going out, and the Expressway going home and not a single SCPD Highway Patrol car. Not ONE. No matter the day of the week I was guaranteed to see at least two Suffolk Sheriff cars on either of the highways. The SCPD does not care about public safety - they only care about their overtime, benefits, pensions, and payscales. That's the only reason they wanted the highways back: it's an huge overtime generator.


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