The Sheriff’s legal authority to act during disasters and emergency events includes New York State Law: General Municipal Law (Article 10, §209-f), County Law (Article 17, §650, §655 – 656), and Executive Law (Article 2-B, §29-b). The Sheriff and the County Executive are the two County Officials with a broad range of authority in declaring a state of emergency.
The Sheriff fulfills the countywide emergency management responsibilities of his office by assigning liaison officers to provide a vital link between the Sheriff’s Office and the Suffolk County Department of Fire, Rescue, and Emergency Services’ (FRES) Emergency Management Office. The OEM represents the Sheriff at countywide Emergency Planning/Training sessions, Emergency Manager’s Meetings, State Emergency Management Office (SEMO) Regional Meetings, the Long Island Emergency Management Conference, and other related meetings. Personnel are assigned to the County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) during EOC activations. For 2014, the Sheriff’s Office participated in nine EOC activations. The Sheriff will continue an essential role during EOC activations.
The Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) has three active Liaison Superior Officers assigned to work closely with the Commissioner of FRES. These officers are the Sheriff’s Emergency Management Manager, Emergency Management Planner, and the Emergency Management Coordinator. The Manager advises the Sheriff of evolving emergency events, through the chain of command, and is the Sheriff’s Incident Commander. The Planner is responsible for maintaining an up- to-date Sheriff’s Emergency Management Plan and contributes to countywide planning. The Coordinator assists in directing emergency operations. In addition, during all EOC activations and exercises, the Sheriff's Office provides a minimum of three uniformed Deputy Sheriffs for security, and one uniformed Deputy Sheriff and one Supervisor for liaison and general EOC staff assignments. A uniformed Deputy Sheriff is assigned to FRES to work on emergency management projects on a weekly basis.
The Office of Emergency Management will continue to work with other county, state and local jurisdictions to be prepared for all emergencies, natural or man-made.