Suffolk County, NY - June 28, 2016 - Marine Patrol units throughout Suffolk County did a security sweep of approximately 1000 miles of Suffolk’s coastline over this past weekend. This continuous initiative, known as Operation S.H.I.E.L.D. (Suffolk Homeland Security Interdiction and Education for Long Island Defense) is coordinated by the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office and operates in conjunction with the N.Y.S. Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Office of Counter Terrorism, United States Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection, local police, bay constables and members of the East End Marine Task Force.
Members of the marine patrols, some with border protection officers embedded with them, checked over 280 marinas, in 49 bodies of water, and nearly 1,000 miles of shoreline, which surround the 10 townships and 20 villages having navigable waters in Suffolk County.
This past weekend Task Force officers checked over 276 vessels, locating and checking 31 foreign flagged vessels, citing 6 federal law violations and 118 other law violations including registration and equipment violations. Hazmat officers detected 2 radiation sources, which were located and mitigated as safe.
Operation S.H.I.E.L.D., which began in 2009, has conducted random operations throughout the years for the purposes of identifying and disrupting the ability of terrorists, traffickers, immigration law violators to enter the United States and to also educate boaters to be vigilant and report suspicious activity.
To date, Op-SHIELD officers have checked over 3,818 vessels including 527 foreign flagged vessels, have cited 89 federal customs law violations and 1185 other law violations and located and mitigated were 31 hazmat sources. A total of 17 individuals have been arrested, 8 for illegally possessing weapons aboard vessels, 5 for Boating While Intoxicated, 2 for SCUBA diving in a government restricted area, 1 for Criminal Trespass and 1 for drug possession.
Informational handouts and posters were distributed during the operation to the public will assist law enforcement agencies with gathering information from the public in the future. The public is reminded, “IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING”.
Future SHIELD operations are planned for random upcoming dates throughout the year.