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  • Undersheriff Steven J. Kuehhas

    Undersheriff Steven J. Kuehhas The son of a Suffolk County Correction Officer, Undersheriff Kuehhas began his career in law enforcement in 1986 when he joined the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office. He prosecuted numerous serious felony cases including violent assaults, robberies, rapes and vehicular manslaughters, in addition to public corruption. From 1996 to 2016, Undersheriff Kuehhas was assigned as the East End Bureau Chief prosecuting crimes within the five eastern towns and villages of Suffolk County where he worked closely with numerous state and local police agencies. It was here that he prosecuted inmates who assaulted correction officers while being held in the correctional facility in Riverhead. After a rewarding career as a prosecutor and Bureau Chief, Undersheriff Kuehhas left the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office to become Undersheriff in the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office under Sheriff Vincent DeMarco in July 2016. His duties include oversight of operations for both the civilian, Corrections and Deputy Sheriff personnel. He is an adjunct professor of law and an active member of the Suffolk County and Criminal Bar Associations. He is an admitted attorney in New York, New Jersey and numerous federal jurisdictions, including the United States Supreme Court.

  • Project Lifesaver | Suffolk County Sheriffs Office

    Project Lifesaver Project Lifesaver is a rapid-response program that aids victims (and their families) who wander as a result of cognitive impairments, or other afflictions. The program combines technology and specially trained Sheriff’s Deputies to locate individuals who have wandered. Project Lifesaver clients wear a “watch-type” wristband transmitter (worn on the wrist, ankle or as a necklace), which emits a tracking signal. When a caregiver calls the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office Project Lifesaver line to report that a client has wandered, a search team responds to the wanderer’s area and, while in route, activates the vehicles mobile locator tracking system. A hand-held unit is used to search for clients in areas inaccessible by vehicles. ​ ​ In an emergency, caregivers must immediately notify the: Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office Project Lifesaver Emergency Response Line at 631-852-2791 and dial 911. ​ How to Enroll in Project Lifesaver Enrollment applications can be obtained by calling (631) 852-3003. Your enrollment application must be completed and submitted to the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office at 100 Center Drive, Riverhead, NY 11901. Once your application is reviewed, an appointment will be made for a home visit by a Project Lifesaver specialist from the Sheriff’s Office. ​ How to Purchase Project Lifesaver Equipment The purchase of enrollment equipment is coordinated through the Sheriff’s Office once the client’s application is approved. ​ Cost to Enroll The transmitter, transmitter case, transmitter tester, battery and wristband costs $300.00 (approximately), plus shipping & handling. The battery and wristband has to be changed monthly or bi-monthly (depending on transmitter) and a new battery and wristband installed. This costs about $5.00 each month. ​ Monthly Maintenance Monthly and/or yearly battery and wristband purchases may be requested by calling the Suffolk County Sheriff's Office at (631) 852-3003. ​ FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS What is Project Lifesaver? Project Lifesaver is a rapid-response program that aids clients (and their families) who wander as a result of cognitive impairments, or other afflictions. ​ Who sponsors Project Lifesaver? Project Lifesaver is sponsored by the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office as well as non-profit organizations who make donations to the Suffolk County Sheriff's Foundation for Project Lifesaver. ​ How does Project Lifesaver work? The program combines technology and specially trained Sheriff’s Deputies to locate individuals who have wandered. Project Lifesaver clients wear a “watch-type” wristband transmitter (worn on the wrist, ankle or as a necklace), which emits a tracking signal. When a caregiver calls the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office Project Lifesaver line to report that a client has wandered, a search team responds to the wanderer’s area and, while in route, activates the vehicles mobile locator tracking system. A hand-held unit is used to search for clients in areas inaccessible by vehicles. ​ How much does Project Lifesaver cost? There is a one-time cost of approximately $300 (plus tax and shipping) for the transmitter, tester, battery and wristband strap. ​ How long does it take to enroll in Project Lifesaver? Applications can be requested by calling 631-852-3003. A Sheriff’s Deputy will then meet with the potential client/caregiver/family member making certain that the area is safe for the potential client and to assist with the necessary paperwork and instructions. ​ How long does it take for the Project Lifesaver program to begin? Once you have met with a member of the Project Lifesaver Bureau and have the necessary equipment (transmitters take up to 2-4 weeks to ship), the program starts immediately. ​ How is the initial equipment purchased? The purchase of Enrollment Equipment is coordinated through the Sheriff’s Office once the client’s application is approved. ​ How is monthly maintenance equipment purchased? Caregiver purchase requests for batteries and wristbands, for monthly maintenance, can be obtained by calling 631-852-3003, or by email at: lifesaver@suffolkcountyny.gov , or through a registered Project Lifesaver International sponsor, or care facility. ​ What happens if someone wanders? Caregivers must immediately notify the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office Project Lifesaver emergency response line (631-852-2791), and dial “911.” Project Lifesaver Bringing Loved Ones Home How long does it take to locate a missing client? Nationally, response times vary, but average under 30 minutes. ​ How frequently should a transmitter battery be changed? Batteries emit a signal every second (24/7) and must be changed monthly. ​ Is the transmitter waterproof? Yes. Clients can shower and swim while wearing the transmitter. ​ Is the client’s transmitting equipment covered by insurance as a medical necessity? Check with your insurance carrier. If necessary, the Sheriff's Office can provide documentation to the insurance carrier that the client in question is enrolled in the Suffolk County Sheriff's Office Project Lifesaver Program. ​ What happens if something goes wrong with my equipment? Call the Sheriff’s Office Project Lifesaver line immediately (631-852-2791). ​ What happens if the transmitter is lost? Call the Sheriff’s Office Project Lifesaver line immediately (631-852-2791). ​ Are there other Project Lifesaver programs? Project Lifesaver began in the Sheriff’s Office, Chesapeake, Virginia in 1999 and is now in over 1,300 Sheriff and Police agencies across the United States, Canada and Australia. ​ Is there a guarantee that a person wearing a Project Lifesaver transmitter will be located? Client searches involve different variables and incidents are unpredictable. In over 3,000 reported searches, Project Lifesaver agencies have achieved a 100% success rate. The Sheriff’s Office feels Project Lifesaver equipment and established procedures greatly increases the likelihood of “Bringing Your Loved Ones Home” safely. ​ Submit Thank you for your request. Someone will contact you shortly.

  • Mission Statment | Suffolk County Sheriffs Office

    Mission Statement The mission of the Sheriff’s Office is to provide the highest quality services to improve community safety, protect life and property, reduce crime, and reduce the fear of crime in Suffolk County, New York. The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office shall maintain safe, secure, and orderly correctional facilities and a competent and trained staff committed to ensuring proper care, custody, treatment, supervision, and discipline for all persons committed to the care and custody of the Sheriff. The Sheriff’s Office and its employees, both sworn and civilian, pledge to work in partnership with the community, to be responsive to community concerns, and conduct its public services efficiently and effectively, consistent with its legal authority, budgeted resources, and with the highest level of professionalism. The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office strives to maintain the highest standards of excellence by utilizing best practices, innovative training methods, and the latest technology to create a safer environment for Suffolk County residents. The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office shall maintain crime prevention and inmate rehabilitation as its primary goals while vigorously pursuing those who commit crimes. The Sheriff's Office strives to develop a diverse workforce that is representative of the communities it serves. The following core values shall guide the daily operations of the Sheriff’s Office and assist in ensuring that our employees maintain personal and professional behavior: • Human Life – Above all else, the Sheriff’s Office strives to protect human life. • Integrity and Trust – The Sheriff’s Office values honesty, fairness, respect, and the consistent application of objective standards by its employees. • Pride and Professionalism – The Sheriff’s Office consciously and consistently demonstrates a commitment to the profession. The Sheriff’s Office is committed to becoming the profession’s benchmark through constant attention to self-improvement and the development of optimum agency services focused on quality performance and results. • Community Service – The Sheriff’s Office is committed to public service and improving the quality of life in Suffolk County through community partnerships and mutual accountability. • Problem Solving – The Sheriff’s Office values utilizing a teamwork approach to facilitate individual and group creativity to accomplish substantive long-term solutions to community problems. Dated this 1st day of February, 2021 ​

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Blog Posts (88)

  • SUFFOLK COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE LEANDRA'S LAW DWI ARREST

    *** One of Five DWI Arrests Over the Weekend *** FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Date: November 13, 2023 (Suffolk County, NY) On 11/11/23 at approximately 12:48 AM., Suffolk County Deputy Sheriffs stopped a vehicle on the Long Island Expressway in Brookhaven, NY, for speeding, failure to maintain a lane of travel, failure to use directional signals, and for displaying a partially unreadable and expired license plate. The driver, Matthew Bunai, 28, of Shirley, NY, demonstrated clues while performing standardized field sobriety tests indicating he was intoxicated. There was a six-year-old child in the rear seat behind the driver seat. At approximately 1:08 AM Bunai was arrested and transported to the Suffolk County Sheriff's Office Headquarters Bureau in Riverhead, NY, where he submitted to a chemical blood test. The results of the blood test are pending laboratory results by the Suffolk County Crime Laboratory. The vehicle was impounded. Bunai was charged with Aggravated DWI with a Child (Leandra’s Law), Endangering the Welfare of a Child, and various traffic violations. Leandra’s Law (the Child Passenger Protection Act) is a NYS law making it an automatic felony on the first offense to drive drunk with a person aged 15 or younger inside the vehicle. It was named after 11-year-old Leandra Rosado who was killed on the Henry Hudson Parkway on October 11, 2009, when she was the passenger in a car accident, driven by a driver who was allegedly driving while intoxicated. Also arrested for Driving While Intoxicated over the weekend were: -         Juan Castillo-Escobar, 42, of Brentwood, arrested for Aggravated DWI with a .19 BAC -         Edgar Sanchez Coello, 24, of Patchogue, arrested for DWI with a .16 BAC -         Linda Balsano, 61, of Shoreham, arrested for DWI with a .17 BAC -         Kayla Horsley, 27, of Riverhead, arrested for DWI with a .12 BAC Suffolk County Sheriff Errol D. Toulon, Jr. commends his deputies. “Suffolk County Deputy Sheriffs are out patrolling our county’s roads to keep the public safe. This weekend, they not only prevented five intoxicated drivers from causing an accident with another driver or a pedestrian, but they potentially saved the life of a child passenger. I am proud of their ongoing vigilance in protecting the residents of Suffolk County.” For more information, visit www.suffolksheriff.com. All information contained in this release has been provided for general informational purposes only. To the extent that pending criminal matters are discussed, all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. ### (PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE SUFFOLK COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE)

  • SUBJECT FEATURED IN SHERIFF’S OFFICE “FUGITIVE FRIDAY” ARRESTED FOR NEGLECT AND STOLEN RENTAL CAR

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Date: October 24, 2023 (Central Islip, NY) On October 19, 2023, the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office Warrant Squad arrested two women for crimes including Felony Criminal Possession of Stolen Property after one of the women reported to the Warrant Bureau in Islip to surrender for separate charges that were highlighted in the Suffolk Sheriff’s “Fugitive Friday” social media campaign. Investigators arrested Joy Portelli, 54, and Jodi Ann Harrigan, 54, both of Lindenhurst, NY, after they were found to be in possession of a vehicle that was reported stolen by Avis Car Rental, out of Roanoke, VA. This arrest was the final arrest in a series of events that began in August, 2023 when Ms. Portelli left NY with her son. Suffolk County Sheriff Dr. Errol D. Toulon, Jr. notes the complexity of this case and the interagency communication that led to the arrests. “I believe that these arrests are an example of the great work performed by Investigators of the Warrant Squad and are a testimony to the effectiveness of the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office “Fugitive Friday” social media campaign. I commend my Deputies for their hard work and thank them for returning this child safely to his father.” Joy Portelli, who is the non-custodial parent, absconded with her son on August 26, 2023 on a flight to Orlando, FL, from MacArthur Airport. On September 19, Ms. Portelli was arrested in Woodbridge, VA, by the William City Police Department for Brandishing a Firearm. At the time of her arrest by William City PD, Ms. Portelli was operating a Grey 2022 Chrysler Pacifica with Illinois plates, which was subsequently reported stolen. At the time of this arrest, Portelli was with her minor son and her friend, Jodi Ann Harrigan. Ms. Portelli’s son was left in the custody of Harrigan, who informed the William City PD that she would turn over custody of the child to his uncle, Christopher Orthodoxon. Mr. Orthodoxon was also the person who rented the Chrysler Pacifica that Portelli was operating at the time of her arrest. Portelli was released on the payment of $1500 bail later the same day. On September 20, Joseph Portelli, Sr., husband of Joy Portelli and father of the child, appeared in Suffolk County Family Court in front of the Honorable Matthew Hughes. Judge Hughes issued an order of protection for Joy Portelli to stay away from both of her minor sons. Judge Hughes also issued a Temporary Order of Custody naming Joseph Portelli Sr. as the custodial parent of both children, and a Family Court arrest warrant for Joy Portelli for Child Neglect. The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office featured Joy Portelli in a “Fugitive Friday” social media post which led to her self-surrender on October 19. Meanwhile, Warrant Squad investigators canvassed the First District Court parking lot and located the stolen Chrysler Pacifica, which was occupied by Jodi Ann Harrigan. Ms. Harrigan was then arrested by Investigators and charged with Criminal Possession of Stolen Property 4 (E Felony). Joy Portelli was additionally charged with Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle 3 and Criminal Possession of Stolen Property 4 (E Felony). The subject vehicle was impounded as evidence at the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office Impound Section in Westhampton. Ms. Portelli appeared in Family Court and was released on her own recognizance. Her son was released to the custody of his father. For more information on the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office, please visit www.suffolksheriff.com. ### (PHOTOS PROVIDED COURTESY OF THE SUFFOLK COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE)

  • SUFFOLK COUNTY LAWMEN WIN 2023 POLICE SOFTBALL WORLD SERIES

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Date: October 20, 2023 *** First Championship Win*** (Las Vegas, NV) On October 7, 2023, the Suffolk County Lawmen Softball Team won the 2023 Police Softball World Series Mid-Major Division held in Las Vegas, Nevada. This multi-day, double elimination tournament featured 70 law enforcement teams from across the nation. The Suffolk Lawmen, a team made up of Correction Officers, Deputy Sheriffs, and Police Officers from the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office and the Suffolk County Police Department, battled to the winner’s bracket finals where they beat the Miami Metro Dawgs on a walk-off homerun, 23-22. Suffolk would again face the Miami Metro Dawgs in the tournament final. In the final game of the series, Miami jumped out to an early lead, showing off their offense. Suffolk fought back throughout the game to take the lead in the top of the 7th and final inning. They were able to hold Miami scoreless in the bottom of the 7th to win the championship with a score of 25-24. This was the Suffolk County Lawmen’s 13th time competing in the Police Softball World Series and their first championship win. Members of the Suffolk County Lawmen were recognized for their outstanding game play. Correction Officer Investigator John Gilliam was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, while Sergeant Jamie Torres and Correction Officer Alex Porcillo were named to the All-World team. Correction Officer Ken DeFelice was named the ‘Pat Hill Inspiration Award’ winner for the tournament. For more information on the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office, please visit www.suffolksheriff.com. ###

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