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.
Suffolk County Sheriffs Throughout History
Over 335 Years of Continuous Service