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suffolk police seal
Rodney Harrison

Rodney K. Harrison
Police Commissioner

collage of the Suffolk County Police emblem, followed by Suffolk County police officers interacting with the public

Community Ambassadors

Background

Empowering communities to take a proactive role toward public safety is a focus of the Suffolk County Police Department (“SCPD”) in creating a safe and secure place for County residents. The Department’s leadership recognizes the need for a collaborative approach to policing that incorporates community partnerships to solve problems and improve public trust.

The most successful expression of this recognition occurs each month during the precinct community meetings. Residents join their local police precincts to discuss public safety issues, collaborate on ideas to serve the community better, and strengthen lines of communications between precinct command staff and community leaders.

Moreover, a central theme surrounding the Department’s Reform and Reinvention Plan is procedural justice and community engagement as a comprehensive public safety strategy to facilitate a positive and active relationship with community members. As a result, the Office of the Police Commissioner has created the Community Ambassador Program as an additional touch point to foster cooperative partnerships throughout the policing district.

What is the SCPD Community Ambassador Program?

The Community Ambassador Program (CAP) is a collaborative partnership between the Office of the Police Commissioner and community residents.

Community members will work directly with the Commissioner’s Office and their local precinct commands to:

  • Identify public safety priorities and issues of concerns
  • Raise awareness of law enforcement efforts
  • Function as community liaisons to and on behalf of the Police Commissioner

At its core, this group of community members residing in each precinct will serve as points of contact for the Police Commissioner and their respective communities.

Duties and Responsibilities:
  • Establish meaningful partnerships and maintain direct contact with the Commissioner’s Office
  • Assist the Commissioner’s Office in developing strategies on how to serve their communities better
  • Advise the Commissioner’s Office on enhancing customer service and visitor engagement at Department facilities
  • Meet with the Commissioner’s leadership team quarterly and as needed to strengthen partnerships and exchange ideas to address common best practices, areas of concern, and police-community relations.
  • Engage regularly with organizations focused on police reform and restorative justice
  • Mobilize community members to identify public safety and quality of life issues of significant concern in their neighborhoods
  • Organize relationship-building opportunities between community residents and the Department
  • Assist victims with navigating and accessing resources from support and community-based organizations
  • Provide assistance and information to complainants on navigating the processes on police accountability and disciplinary matters
  • Routinely meet with their Precinct Advisory Council and precinct commander to share community perspectives and observations
  • Identify and recruit community groups, organizations, and individuals to become active in public safety discussions
  • Promote public awareness of the Department’s programs and services, including but not limited to: business and residential crime prevention programs, safety training, domestic violence intervention, school district police relations
  • Members are strongly encouraged to participate in the SCPD Civilian Academy and priority placed on enrollment request
Ambassador Membership

CAP will consist of a total of 28-30 individuals composed of 4-5 representatives per police precinct.

  • Community members 18 years and older
  • Leader(s) of a community-based organization
  • Owner(s) or manager(s) of a business
  • Representative of a school district
  • Member of the clergy
CAP Identifiers

The identification procedure is established to ensure that Community Ambassadors are readily identifiable in public when engaged in the performance of CAP responsibilities.

Identifiers will be designated by the Police Commissioner and will consist of a lightweight jacket and hat with the SCPD insignia.

Identifiers shall only be worn when an Ambassador is actively engaged in the performance of CAP duties and responsibilities, and shall not be otherwise worn or displayed.

Upon issue, identifiers remain the property of the Suffolk County Police Department. The CAP member, however, is responsible for the maintenance and care of the items which shall not be altered without the authorization of the CAP Administrator.

In the event a uniform needs repair or replacement, the Community Ambassador will promptly contact the Quartermaster Section for repair or replacement. In the event an identifier is lost or stolen, the CAP Administrator shall immediately be notified and a police report filed.

In the event an individual’s tenure as an Ambassador ends or is otherwise terminated, the CAP identifiers must be promptly returned to the Quartermaster Section via the Office of the Police Commissioner.

Precinct Name Organization/Title

1

Sahara Jones Wyandanch Rising Development
Keith Heyward Pastor, Bethel AME Church
Renita Grimes Spin the Yard
Paul Soodoo Deer Park Community Association

2

Martine MacDonald Tri-CYA
Kevin Thorbourne Dir., Minority Affairs, Town Of Huntington
Erol Akyurek President, Turkish American Center
Ken Patrick Johnson Former VP., SCPD Civilian Academy
Daniel Rivera Pastor, Assembly Of God Church

3

Debbie Cavanagh President, Central Islip Coalition of Good Neighbors
Donna Periconi President, Bay Shore Chamber of Commerce
Mary Reid Brentwood Library Board Member
Ray Mayo Brentwood Ambulance
Marvin Smith NACCP

4

Rabbi Mendel Teldon Dir., of Chabad Mid-Suffolk
Christopher Crean 1st Assistant Chief Hauppauge Fire Department
Debbie Virga District Clerk/Community Events Coordinator for Commack School District
Mathew Boals GM., Smith Haven Mall

5

David Kennedy President, Patchogue Chamber of Commerce
Martha Maffei Exec. Dir., Sepa Mujer
Beth Santagata Holbrook Neighborhood Watch
Benny Harper Economic Opportunity Council

6

Erma Gluck President, Coram Civic Association
Salvatore Pitti President, Port Jefferson Station Civic President
James Freeman President, Gordon Heights Civic
William Massian Board of Education, Longwood School District

7

Josh Pierre Shirley Assembly of God Church
Gail Bailey Trustee, Longwood Public Library
James Perrotta Dir., School Safety, Longwood School District
John Carricato Middle Island Civic Association