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Suffolk sheriff postpones open house, family day at correctional center

Suffolk County Sheriff Errol D. Toulon Jr.

Suffolk County Sheriff Errol D. Toulon Jr. Credit: Debbie Egan-Chin

The ongoing battle against COVID-19 has led the Suffolk Sheriff's Office to postpone Sunday's open house and family day at the county's correctional center in Yaphank, officials announced Tuesday.

The annual event will not be held until 2022.

In a statement, the office, headed by Sheriff Errol Toulon Jr., cited the highly contagious delta variant and a staff shortage as the reason for the postponement.

An increase in infections, as well as in retirements, has led to "staff constraints" at the jail, which is overseen by the Sheriff's office.

"The Sheriff’s Office Open House and Family Day is an extremely popular event that is attended by thousands of people," the Sheriff's Office said in its statement, adding: "This requires a large amount of staff members to run it safely and effectively; staff members that, due to the staffing shortage, we simply do not have. Therefore, we must cancel the event until next year."

The Sheriff's Office did not provide details on the staffing shortage or COVID-19 cases at the jail, but said the office is currently recruiting new correction officers for the jail facilities in both Riverhead and Yapank.

A Civil Service exam for the position is being given on Nov. 13. The deadline for registration for the exam is Oct. 6.

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