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Sheriff's Office History

The origin of the Sheriff is traceable to the Office of the Sheriff and Constable of early English history. On Long Island, from 1664 to 1683, ridings were used to establish boundaries within the Shire. The East riding comprised the territory now occupied by Suffolk County. The West riding consisted of Kings County and Newtown (Queens). The remainder of Long Island belonged to the North riding. Collectively, the three ridings were called Yorkshire.

The Governor appointed a “High Sheriff” for Yorkshire with a Deputy from each riding. In 1683, the ridings were abolished and the East riding became Suffolk County. The High Sheriff was no longer necessary being that each County would now have its own Sheriff. Suffolk County’s first Sheriff was Josiah Hobart in 1683.

After the American Revolution, the practice of the Governor appointing a Sheriff continued and was incorporated into the first Constitution adopted in New York in 1777. At the Constitutional Convention in 1821, the appointed Office of the Sheriff was made elective. That year, Abraham Gardiner became Suffolk County’s first elected Sheriff.

Today, the Sheriff of Suffolk County is elected to the term of four years. 

 

On January 1, 2018, Dr. Errol D. Toulon, Jr. became the 67th Sheriff of Suffolk County and the County`s first African American Sheriff in Suffolk County history.

Please scroll through a pictorial history of the the Suffolk County Sheriff's Office.

Deputy Sheriff Skip Sexton

Deputy Sheriff Skip Sexton

Circa 1990 Deputy Sheriff Skip Sexton stands in front of patrol vehicle.

Sheriff Frank Gross

Sheriff Frank Gross

Circa 1962 Deputy Sheriff Frank Gross conducts an administration meeting with Sheriffs Office Staff.

Sheriff McCollom & Staff

Sheriff McCollom & Staff

This is a photo of Sheriff William C. McCollom and the staff of the Griffing Avenue Jail taken in the 1940's. Sheriff McCollom served as Suffolk County Sheriff from 1935-1937 and again from 1942-1956. With 16 years of service, Sheriff McCollom was the longest serving Sheriff in Suffolk County.

Yaphank Correctional Facility

Yaphank Correctional Facility

This is an aerial view of the original Yaphank Correctional Facility which was built in 1959. This photo was taken in the early 1960's.

Yaphank Correctional Facility 2013

Yaphank Correctional Facility 2013

This is an aerial view our Yaphank Correctional Facility taken in 2013. If you look closely, you can still make out where the original building is near the traffic circle in the parking lot.

Sheriff Jacob Dreyer

Sheriff Jacob Dreyer

Sheriff Jacob Dreyer served from 1938-1941 and died in office. This photo, from 1938, shows Sheriff Dreyer with 10 cars purchased by the County to serve as the first 24-hour Highway Patrol in Suffolk County.

Riverhead Jail Inmate Transport

Riverhead Jail Inmate Transport

Taken in the early 1970's, this photo shows Deputy Sheriffs transporting inmates from the Riverhead Correctional Facility to court.

Chief Deputy Corso

Chief Deputy Corso

This is an undated photo of Chief Deputy Philip Corso with a Sheriff's car in front of the old Sheriff's Headquarters behind the courthouse. Corso later became Undersheriff for Sheriff Frank Gross and later appointed to the position of Sheriff to fill a vacancy left by Sheriff Gross after his appointment to the State Parole Board by Governor Rockefeller.

Sheriff Jacob Dreyer

Sheriff Jacob Dreyer

Sheriff Jacob Dreyer served from 1938-1941 and died in office. This is a photo of Sheriff Dreyer with the spoils of a gambling raid in the Hamptons. The photo was taken in the recreation courtyard of the Griffing Avenue Jail.

Sheriff Amza Biggs

Sheriff Amza Biggs

Sheriff Amza Biggs was Sheriff 1917-1919 and 1923-1925. Sheriff Biggs was the first Sheriff to have cars. Two cars were purchased, the first being an Oakland Six Roadster and the second, an REO Model R Four-cycle touring car.

Griffing Avenue Courthouse & Jail

Griffing Avenue Courthouse & Jail

This is a rendering of the Griffing Avenue Courthouse and Octagonal Jail which was built in 1855 to replace the 1729 jail. This image was taken from a document that was published in 1858.

Suffolk County Sheriffs Throughout History

More Than Three Centuries of Continuous Service

1.

Josiah Hobart

1683-1701

2.

John Mulford

1701-1702

3.

Hugh Gray

1702-1710

4.

John Brush

1710-1718

5.

Daniel Youngs

1718-1723

6.

Samuel Dayton

1723-1728

7.

William Sell

1728-1730

8.

Joseph Smith

1730-1731

9.

David Corrie

1731-1734

10.

Jacob Conklin

1734-1740

11.

Thomas Higbe

1740-1774

12.

James Muirson

1774-1785

13.

Thomas Wickes

1785-1787

1791-1799

14.

Silas Halsey

1787-1791

15.

Phineas Carll

1799-1803

16.

Josiah Reeve

1803-1807

1808-1810

1811-1812

1813-1814

1815-1819

17.

Phineas Smith

1807-1808

18.

Benjamin Brewster

1810-1811

1812-1813

19.

Nathaniel Conklin

1814-1815

20.

Samuel Carll

1819-1821

21.

Abraham Gardiner

1821-1826

1829-1832

22.

Samuel Smith

1826-1829

23.

Richard Smith

1832-1835

24.

Silas Horton

1835-1838

25.

Samuel Miller

1838-1841

26.

David Brush

1841-1844

27.

Henry Penny

1844-1847

28.

David Rose

1847-1850

29.

John Clark

1850-1855

30.

Samuel Phillips

1855-1856

31.

George Carman

1856-1859

32.

Stephen Wilson

1859-1862

33.

Daniel Osborn

1862-1868

34.

George Smith

1868-1871

35.

J. Henry Perkins

1871-1874

36.

Egbert Lewis

1874-1877

37.

George Cooper

1877-1878

38.

Robert Petty

1878-1883

1888-1891

39.

Selah Brewster

1883-1886

40.

Henry Halsey

1886-1888

41.

A.M. Darling

1891-1897

42.

Benjamin Wood

1897-1900

43.

J. Sheridan Wells

1900-1903

44.

Henry Preston

1903-1906

45.

John Wells

1906-1909

46.

Charles Platt

1909-1912

47.

Melville Brush

1912-1913

48.

D. Henry Brown

1913-1914

49.

Charles O'Dell

1914-1917

50.

Amza Biggs

1917-1920

1923-1926

51.

John Kelly

1920-1923

52.

Burton Howe

1926-1929

53.

Ellis Taylor

1929-1932

54.

Joseph Warta

1932-1935

55.

William McCollom

1935-1938

1942-1957

56.

Jacob Dreyer

1938-1941

57.

John Levy

1941-1942

58.

Charles Dominy

1957-1962

59.

Frank Gross

1962-1970

60.

Philip Corso

1970-1976

61.

Donald Dilworth

1976-1977

62.

John Finnerty

1977-1986

63.

Eugene Dooley

1986-1990

63.

Patrick Mahoney

1990-2002

65.

Alfred C. Tisch

2002-2006

66.

Vincent F. DeMarco

2006-2018

67.

Dr. Errol D. Toulon, Jr.

2018- Current

The Suffolk County Sheriff's Office is an Accredited Law Enforcement Agency

© 2020 SUFFOLK COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE

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