Suffolk County, located in the state of New York, is the largest county in the state in terms of geographical area. Spanning 138 km (86 miles) long and 42 km (26 miles) wide, it is home to several outer barrier beaches and hundreds of square miles of waterways. It is also home to several scientific research centers, such as the Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in Huntington, and the Plum Island Animal Disease Center on Plum Island. The demographics of Suffolk County are quite diverse. According to the most up-to-date data, 26% of the population is under 5 years of age.
The race most likely to fall into poverty in Suffolk County is multiple, with 14.64% below the poverty level. The race least likely to live in poverty is the island race, with 5.29% below the poverty level. The sheriff, an elected official serving a four-year term, is responsible for the security of the county courts and for the arrest, delivery, and enforcement of civil documents, evictions, and court orders. Police services in five western cities (Babylon, Huntington, Islip, Smithtown and Brookhaven) are provided primarily by the Suffolk County Police Department. After the dissolution of the Long Island State Police in 1980, all state highways in Suffolk County became the responsibility of the L Troop of the New York State Police, based at Republic Airport.
The State University Police has jurisdiction in Suffolk County, Stony Brook University, and Farmingdale State College. Some cities in Suffolk County (Islip, Brookhaven, Southampton, East Hampton, Babylon, Huntington, and Smithtown) also employ several bay agents and other local marine patrols. The Long Island Railroad, the Hampton Jitney, and the Hampton Luxury Liner connect Suffolk County to New York City. Despite development that has taken place over time, Suffolk remains a major agricultural region due to careful planning and favorable weather conditions. Suffolk County has the most lighthouses of any county in the United States; 15 of its 26 original lighthouses are still standing. This makes it a great starting point for research on Suffolk County and other parts of New York.