Suffolk County Sheriff Errol Toulon, at a roundtable discussion at the Yaphank correctional facility Feb. 9, 2018. File photo: Denise Civiletti

Suffolk County Sheriff Errol Toulon Jr. announced yesterday he is forming a Community Advisory Board to give Suffolk residents an opportunity to meet regularly with the sheriff and his staff for topical discussions and feedback.

Toulon is soliciting letters of inquiry from members of the public who want to be considered for board membership.

The sheriff’s move comes at a time of heightened scrutiny of law enforcement agencies across the country, following the death of George Floyd during his arrest in Minneapolis on Memorial Day and the subsequent protests that have swept the nation. The outcry over Floyd’s death and scenes of violent clashes between police and protestors have led to legislative proposals in Washington and Albany that would change police policies and practices, review of complaints against police and prosecution of alleged wrongdoing.

“Current events have demonstrated that people from all racial and ethnic backgrounds are frustrated with law enforcement, and they have some legitimate reasons to feel this way,” Toulon said in the press release yesterday.

“I am looking for a diverse group of people to discuss issues, learn about the sheriff’s office, and share ideas.”

Toulon said the board will consist of one member each from the 10 towns in Suffolk. Members will serve for a one-year term.

Anyone interested in serving on the board is encouraged to send a letter of inquiry directly to Sheriff Toulon at Suffolk_Sheriff@suffolkcountyny.gov.

Prospective members must be Suffolk County residents age 18 and older.

The Community Advisory Board will meet bi-monthly in the evening at the Yaphank Correctional Facility and occasionally at other sheriff’s office locations throughout Suffolk. The sheriff plans to make alternative meeting arrangements for members to participate remotely. The first meeting date has not yet been set.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct a typo contained in the sheriff’s press release stating that the advisory board would consist of 10 members from each of the county’s 10 towns. The sheriff said on June 10 there would be one member from each town.

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