Suffolk Police Patrol Leader to move to Head of Department
Long-time Suffolk Police chief Robert Waring will be the department’s next head of department, Commissioner Rodney Harrison told Newsday on Monday.
Waring, currently the Suffolk County Police Department patrol chief, will be sworn in at a ceremony in Brentwood on Tuesday morning, officials said. Waring succeeds Stuart Cameron, who retired earlier this month, as department head.
“I can’t wait to be there,” Waring said Monday. “It’s a great opportunity.”
Waring, a 36-year Suffolk Police veteran, said he would focus on keeping crime rates low in the county while improving road safety and engaging with the community. He will also be responsible for implementing the 1,000-page police reform plan which calls for most police officers in the department to be equipped with body cameras and other measures, officials say, promote accountability and transparency. .
Waring inherits a department that has been rocked by scandal in recent years, most recently in February 2020, when Suffolk agents allegedly assaulted a suspected car thief at Mount Sinai. Two cops have been suspended without pay and are the target of a criminal investigation by the office of Suffolk District Attorney Ray Tierney. Three other officers and a supervisor who witnessed the incident were placed on modified duty after the incident and may be subject to disciplinary action.
Waring said the police reform plan, developed by a 37-member panel appointed by Suffolk County Director Steve Bellone, would benefit the police and the community.
“I can’t wait to move forward,” Waring said.
Deputy patrol chief Gerard Hardy will replace Waring as patrol chief, officials said.
Harrison said he picked Waring to be the best uniformed cop in Suffolk because Waring has a deep understanding of the operations of the department, has respect for the base and has good ideas on how to improve the police in Suffolk .
“You want someone who understands the scenery, who knows the police department inside out,” Harrison said.
Waring previously served as the head of operations and commander of the department’s third constituency.
The appointments of Waring and Hardy are the latest pieces of the leadership team created by Harrison, who was appointed by Bellone to the commissioner post in early December and confirmed by lawmakers weeks later. Matthew Lewis will remain Chief of Detectives, while Christopher Hatton will remain Chief Operating Officer.