Today, Suffolk County Sheriff Errol D. Toulon, Jr. celebrated an important milestone for the Mask Making Initiative at the Riverhead Jail. The program has now produced 10,000 masks for county staff and essential workers in businesses, places of worship, and other venues since inmates began making the masks during the second week in April. Sheriff Toulon joined with staff and program participants to enjoy some cake to mark the occasion.
Sheriff Toulon could not be more pleased with the work and how he believes his staff has come together in creative and unique ways during this pandemic. The program, which is being led by several Suffolk County Correction Officers with sewing skills, gives county inmates an opportunity to learn a new skill and contribute to the betterment of society during these unprecedented times.
“You’re never going to really know how much the people on the outside really appreciate these masks. There are many people from different communities who don’t have access to masks, let alone masks that are washable and that they can reuse many times. So once again, I want to thank you for everything that you are doing,” Sheriff Toulon told the program staff and inmates. “You probably don’t even know how many people in each one of your communities may have been touched by providing them with a mask and possibly saving a life.”
Sheriff Toulon said the program will continue as long as there is a need and hopes that people will wear appropriate face coverings as the county begins to open up. “We can’t let our guard down, because if we do, COVID 19 will likely resurface and right now, we need to use every tool in the toolbox to prevent the spread of coronavirus so people can get back to school and work,” said Sheriff Toulon.