Suffolk County, New York

Suffolk County vehicle

Suffolk County Sheriff's Badge

Site LE Agency
Suffolk County Sheriff's Office

Site Researcher
Dr. Dora Vertenten, University of Southern California

Site Focus
Gang-involved crime

SPI Strategy
Supporting innovation

Site Cohort

Site Profile
Large, suburban, county with a population of 1,501,587

Project Overview

Suffolk County (NY) has experienced an increase in gang related crime, despite overall reductions in violent crime rates in recent years. The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) aims to leverage the use of intelligence from inmate phone calls to mitigate gang-related crimes. In April 2019, Suffolk County implemented Phase 1 of a pilot research program of a technology implemented into the phone system of Suffolk County correctional facilities, which automatically transcribes phone call text. Since the implementation of this technology, Suffolk County has been better able to use phone call intelligence to detect threats, disrupt gang activities, prevent gang-related violent crime, and receive more leads to solve open cases. SCSO will use the funding from the SPI grant to expand on the capabilities of technology to gather increased inmate phone intelligence and support a more efficient, effective response to gang-related crime.

Data Highlight

  • Gang arrests in Suffolk County increased from 856 in 2017 to 1,316 in 2020.
  • During the one-year pilot of the new phone technology in SCSO correctional facilities, the system monitored 2,530,520 calls. The new phone technology also:
    • Saved more than 100 SCSO personnel person-hours of manually listening to inmate phone calls searching for information about gang-related crimes.
    • Led to direct leads in gang-related crimes and supported gang-related investigations.
    • Disrupted future gang-related crimes.