Suffolk Sheriff’s Office Mentoring Program Showing Great Success

The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office implemented a Staff Mentoring Program in 2019 to help new law enforcement employees grow personally within the organization.

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The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office implemented a Staff Mentoring Program in 2019 to help new law enforcement employees grow personally within the organization. One year later, the program has been showing great signs of success as employees are guided and developed while on the job.

Mentees are paired up with knowledgeable and skilled Deputies or Correction Officers who provide insight, guidance, and developmental opportunities to new officers. The first group of Mentees graduated the academy in May of 2019 and they have grown as law enforcement officers after participating the program.

Deputy Sheriff Toni Ann Mackey is one the recent mentees. While energetic and motivated, Deputy Mackey was young and had no prior law enforcement experience. She was paired up with her Mentor, D/S Sergeant Candace Berezny – the only female Deputy Sheriff Supervisor in the Sheriff’s Office. Sgt. Berezny is a great Deputy and a shining example to her colleagues, especially female deputies. Unfortunately, Sgt. Berezny works the midnight shift on our DWI Enforcement Team and not many Deputies get a chance to work with her. Deputy Mackey, who at the time was assigned to 1st District Court, never had the opportunity to interact with Sgt. Berezny. The Mentor program connected the two. Because of the Mentoring Program, schedules were periodically adjusted to have Deputy Mackey work with directly with Sgt. Berezny on DWI patrol. Sgt. Berezny was able to guide Deputy Mackey and advise her on being a woman in law enforcement. She also gave her invaluable advice on what it is like to be a female supervisor in law enforcement, something the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office actively supports. Deputy Mackey, now assigned to our Domestic Violence Unit, has proven to be an asset to the unit and is extremely professional and motivated. She credits the Mentoring Program as a part of her success.

Another success story involves Deputy Sheriff Amiel Perez. Deputy Perez is a Marine Corps Veteran who was paired up with his Mentor, Deputy Sheriff Vincent Giordano, who was also a Marine. These two Deputies shared similar experiences in the Marine Corps and starting a career in law enforcement. Both Deputies took part in the Marine Corps’ formal Mentor Program, making the transition to the Sheriff’s Office Mentoring Program an easy one. The formal Sheriff’s Office mentoring period between the two has ended; however, they have developed a relationship enabling the mentoring to continue.

Sheriff Toulon is pleased with the success of this Staff Mentoring Program. “I have had the great opportunity in my life to not only mentor young officers during my career, but to be on the receiving end of a mentoring relationship. Having a trusted mentor in my life has helped me make tough decisions and guide me on the right path throughout my career. My father was a Warden on Rikers Island where I spent 29 years as a uniformed officer and supervisor. His guidance and insight has proven invaluable as I now lead the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office. It is my hope that these Mentor-Mentee relationships continue well after the program has finished.”