Departments


Appellate Section Asset Forfeiture Unit
Child Abuse Squad Computer Services Unit
Domestic Violence Unit Are you a Victim of Domestic Violence?
What should you do if you receive harassing phone calls
Project Protect Domestic Violence Unit
Elizabeth Project Grand Jury Unit
Forensic Laboratory High Tech Crimes Unit
Homicide Task Force Intelligence Unit
Juvenile Justice Unit Narcotic Strike Force
Organized Crime Section Plainfield Project
Pre Disposition Unit Released Offender Unit
Sex Crimes Squad Special Prosecutions Unit
Trial Unit John H. Stamler Police Academy


Appellate Section

The Appellate Section represents the State of New Jersey in direct appeals before the Appellate Division of Superior Court and the New Jersey Supreme Court. The Section also conducts legal research for the office, handles most motions filed before and after trial and represents the State in appeals from convictions in the municipal courts of Union County.

In terms of volume, the major category of work is the briefing of motions to suppress evidence in the trial courts and the representation of the State of New Jersey in plenary appeals in the Appellate Division.


Asset Forfeiture Unit

The Asset Forfeiture Unit enforces the forfeiture laws in the State of New Jersey which allow for law enforcement to maintain custody of certain property which has been seized from a criminal defendant. Examples of such items include contraband such as controlled dangerous substances, firearms which have been unlawfully acquired, possessed or used, and an illegally possessed gambling device. In addition, the State can bring forfeiture proceedings against properties which are the proceeds of unlawful activity or which was used or intended to be used in furtherance of unlawful activity or which has become an integral part of unlawful activity. The purpose of these laws is to deprive defendants of the fruits of their unlawful activities and to act as a deterrent in preventing similar activity in the future.

Municipal law enforcement agencies work jointly with members of the Unit with regard to the investigation of assets obtained as a result of criminal activity and coordinate seizures of such property with the Prosecutor’s Office. The Unit also coordinates its activities and interacts with other State and Federal law enforcement agencies.

 

Child Abuse Unit

The Child Abuse Squad, is comprised of individuals who dedicate their full time efforts to investigating and prosecuting cases arising from incidents of sexual and physical abuse of children. The Squad is responsible for cases in which these offenses are alleged to have been committed by persons who have custodial care of child victims. Included are offenses committed by parents, relatives, teachers, baby sitters, caretakers and others who may have custody of children. All of the investigations are coordinated with municipal police agencies as well as with the New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services. The Squad maintains a twenty-four hour on call schedule responding to reports of sexual abuse, serious physical injuries or death. The investigations focus upon obtaining proper care and treatment for the victim, collecting and preserving evidence, locating and interviewing witnesses and identifying and prosecuting the alleged abuser.

By their very nature, child abuse investigations and prosecutions are extremely difficult. However, the staff of the Child Abuse Squad has developed a reputation of expertise in this field and, as a result, has been called upon to train personnel in other law enforcement agencies. The Squad has sponsored several training seminars for law enforcement officers and social workers. In addition, training sessions were initiated for day care providers to enable them to recognize signs of abuse and to learn how to react without further traumatizing the child. These programs have been widely acclaimed as an unprecedented and highly productive course of instruction.

Citizens are encouraged to report suspected acts of child abuse to the Child Abuse Hotline:
1-800-792-8610.


Computer Services Unit

Included among the duties of the Computer Services Unit are responsibilities to evaluate, provide recommendations and specifications as to the selection of data processing and computer hardware and software through a cost benefit analysis. The Unit also provides technical recommendations and guidance during the planning and implementation of law enforcement computer services within the County and monitors, supervises and provides recommendations regarding the mobile data terminals which are installed in police vehicles.

Within the Prosecutor’s Office, the Unit further monitors related outside consulting services in accordance with contractual agreements and provides computer related technical assistance and guidance.


Domestic Violence Unit

The Domestic Violence Unit devotes direct specialized attention to domestic violence cases to insure that victims receive the care and attention they so desperately need. The primary responsibility of the seven member unit is the prosecution of violations of domestic violence restraining orders issued by the Family Court. The Unit represents the State of New Jersey at court hearings relating to the disposition of weapons seized for safekeeping in domestic violence cases.

Cases involving interference with custody or parental abductions are also investigated by the Domestic Violence Unit. In such cases, the offending parent absconds or denies visitation in defiance of a court order. Children in these cases are usually not at risk of physical injury and the cases are usually resolved by locating the offending parent and securing the voluntary surrender of the child.

The members of the Domestic Violence Unit appear at daily bail hearings and provide advice and complaint approval to municipal police departments in domestic violence matters. The staff also provides instruction at the John H. Stamler Police Academy on the Domestic Violence Law and related investigations.

 

What should you do if you receive harassing phone calls


WHAT TO DO ABOUT UNWANTED OR HARASSING PHONE CALLS IN DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CASES

  • Do not delete any Caller ID information or answering machine messages and immediately contact the police.
  • Prior to making any other phone calls (before even calling the police), immediately dial *57 to activate Call Trace which records the phone number of the last incoming call, then immediately report the call to the police department which will follow up with the phone company and obtain the caller’s information.
  • Change your phone number to a new unpublished phone number so that non-published phone numbers and your address will not be available in the phonebook directory and the internet phone directory.
  • CALL 54 is the reverse phone directory where if only a person’s phone number is known you can obtain the name and address by calling the CALL 54 service and entering the phone number. Unpublished numbers are not listed in the Call 54 service so if you make sure your phone number is unpublished and if the abuser obtains your phone number the abuser can not obtain your address from the CALL 54 service.
  • Unpublished numbers will still appear on the Caller ID of any person you call, only your name will be deleted so make sure that your phone number is also blocked through the phone company’s Per Line Blocking so that both your phone number and name will not appear on the Caller ID unit of any person you call and only “private” or “anonymous” will appear on the Caller ID.
  • If a you chooses not to obtain an unpublished and blocked phone number, then prior to dialing a phone number, you should dial *67, Per Call Blocking, wait for the three beeps and then only “private” or “anonymous” will appear on the Caller ID unit of the person are calling and this way your number will not be learned from Caller ID.
  • If you have Caller ID, you can prevent any blocked calls from coming through to your phone by activating Anonymous Call Rejection by dialing *77 and in order for the caller to get through to you the caller will have to unblock their number so the number and name will appear on your Caller ID unit and you will know who called.
  • Contact your local police department and your local phone company for any further questions or advise on handling unwanted or harassing calls.

IF YOU ARE NOT SURE IF YOU ARE A DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIM, CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING FACTORS:

Has someone physically punched, kicked, slapped, hit or assaulted you or threatened to do so or has someone burglarized, harassed, kidnapped or restrained you or forced you to have sex?

If “yes” to any of these, THEN CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING FACTORS:

1. Have you ever lived with this person?

2. Are you currently living with this person?

3. Are you currently married to this person?

4. Have you ever been married to this person?

5. Do you have a child in common with this person?

6. Are you currently dating or have you ever dated this person?

7. Are you pregnant with this person’s child?

8. Is this person pregnant with your child?

IF YOU ANSWERED “YES” TO ANY OF THESE QUESTIONS, THEN YOU ARE A VICTIM OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND YOU HAVE CERTAIN RIGHTS.

1. You have the right to get an order called a restraining order against the abuser. A restraining order is a court order which is intended to protect you from further harm from someone who has hurt you or threatened you. You can apply for a restraining order Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 at the County Family Court where you live or are sheltered, or where the defendant lives or where the abuse occurred. Court employees will help you file the papers on forms they provide. If it is after 3:30 p.m. or a holiday or a weekend you can apply for an order at your local police department or the police department where the abuser lives or the police department where the abuse occurred.

THE TYPES OF THINGS A JUDGE CAN INCLUDE IN THE ORDER ARE:

a) That the abuser be temporarily prohibited from contacting you or your relatives at your home, work, or any place you are.

b) That the abuser be temporarily forbidden from entering your home.

c) That you be given temporary custody of your children.

d) That the abuser pay you temporary child support and/or emergent monetary relief.

2. You also have the right to sign criminal complaints against your abuser for what he/she did.

3. If the restraining order is violated, such as the abuser coming to your home or work or calling you or injuring you, you should call the police and report this immediately!

THE FOLLOWING SERVICES ARE AVAILABLE TO HELP YOU:

1. Project Protect – Battered Women’s Program

24-Hour Hotline: 908-355-HELP (4357). Sheltering, counselling services and support groups, 355-1995

2. Union County Family Court Domestic Violence Unit

908-527-4426

3. Union County Prosecutor’s Office Domestic Violence Unit

908-527-4500

4. Union County Prosecutor’s Office of Victim/Witness Advocacy

2452 Rahway Avenue – 4th Floor
Elizabeth, NJ, 07207
908-527-4596

This office provides the following services:

- Notification of dates for court appearances

- Coordination of the AWARE Domestic Violence Home Electronic Pendant Alarm

- Notification of continuance of the case

- Free parking for court date

- Transportation if unable to arrange your own

- Babysitting services, if required, for court appearance to obtain a restraining order

- Personal escort from the reception room to the court room

- Referral to appropriate social service agencies if needed

- Employer intervention, if necessary

- Sentencing notification

- Private waiting room

- Answers to any questions you may have regarding your case

5. Rape Crisis Center

300 North Avenue, East
Westfield, NJ 07090
908-233-7273

6. Union County Legal Services

60 Prince Street
Elizabeth, NJ
908-754-4340

[INFORMATION PROVIDED BY THE UNION COUNTY PROSECUTOR'S OFFICE]


ARE YOU A VICTIM OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?

Know Your Rights

IF YOU ARE NOT SURE IF YOU ARE A DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIM, CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING FACTORS:

Has someone physically punched, kicked, slapped, hit or assaulted you or threatened to do so or has someone burglarized, harassed, kidnapped or restrained you or forced you to have sex?

If “yes” to any of these, THEN CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING FACTORS:

1. Have you ever lived with this person?

2. Are you currently living with this person?

3. Are you currently married to this person?

4. Have you ever been married to this person?

5. Do you have a child in common with this person?

6. Are you currently dating or have you ever dated this person?

7. Are you pregnant with this person’s child?

8. Is this person pregnant with your child?

IF YOU ANSWERED “YES” TO ANY OF THESE QUESTIONS, THEN YOU ARE A VICTIM OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND YOU HAVE CERTAIN RIGHTS.

1. You have the right to get an order called a restraining order against the abuser. A restraining order is a court order which is intended to protect you from further harm from someone who has hurt you or threatened you. You can apply for a restraining order Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 at the County Family Court where you live or are sheltered, or where the defendant lives or where the abuse occurred. Court employees will help you file the papers on forms they provide. If it is after 3:30 p.m. or a holiday or a weekend you can apply for an order at your local police department or the police department where the abuser lives or the police department where the abuse occurred.

THE TYPES OF THINGS A JUDGE CAN INCLUDE IN THE ORDER ARE:

a) That the abuser be temporarily prohibited from contacting you or your relatives at your home, work, or any place you are.

b) That the abuser be temporarily forbidden from entering your home.

c) That you be given temporary custody of your children.

d) That the abuser pay you temporary child support and/or emergent monetary relief.

2. You also have the right to sign criminal complaints against your abuser for what he/she did.

3. If the restraining order is violated, such as the abuser coming to your home or work or calling you or injuring you, you should call the police and report this immediately!

THE FOLLOWING SERVICES ARE AVAILABLE TO HELP YOU:

1. Project Protect – Battered Women’s Program

24-Hour Hotline: (908) 355-HELP (4357). Sheltering, counselling services and support groups, 355-1995

2. Union County Family Court Domestic Violence Unit

908-527-4426

3. Union County Prosecutor’s Office Domestic Violence Unit

908-527-4500

4. Union County Prosecutor’s Office of Victim/Witness Advocacy

2452 Rahway Avenue – 4th Floor
Elizabeth, NJ, 07207
908-527-4596

This office provides the following services:

- Notification of dates for court appearances

- Coordination of the AWARE Domestic Violence Home Electronic Pendant Alarm

- Notification of continuance of the case

- Free parking for court date

- Transportation if unable to arrange your own

- Babysitting services, if required, for court appearance to obtain a restraining order

- Personal escort from the reception room to the court room

- Referral to appropriate social service agencies if needed

- Employer intervention, if necessary

- Sentencing notification

- Private waiting room

- Answers to any questions you may have regarding your case

5. Rape Crisis Center

300 North Avenue, East
Westfield, NJ 07090
908-233-7273

6. Union County Legal Services

60 Prince Street
Elizabeth, NJ
908-754-4340

[INFORMATION PROVIDED BY THE UNION COUNTY PROSECUTOR'S OFFICE]

WHAT DOES HAVING A FINAL RESTRAINING ORDER MEAN?

Having a restraining order means you have chosen to end your relationship with someone who has abused you. It is a law enforcement tool meant to help you carry out your decision to end your relationship with the abuser. A restraining order will be taken seriously only if it is strictly enforced. There are ways you can help the police and prosecutors enforce the order. Many suggestions are listed below.

WHAT KIND OF CONTACT AM I PERMITTED TO HAVE WITH THE OTHER PARTY?

The amount of contact allowed depends on what is written in the order. If you have an order that prohibits any further contact, you should not contact the abuser in any way. You should never invite the abuser over. If the order prohibits the abuser from visiting the children at your home, you should follow the order. If you do not follow the order and the abuser gets into an argument with you or hurts you, it is not likely that the abuser will be found guilty of violating the order.

    If you allow the abuser to contact you or come to your home, you will give the abuser the message that it is okay to contact you. Remember: Any contact at all gives the abuser an opportunity to manipulate your feelings. “I’m sorry. It won’t happen again. I’ll get help, etc.” are all things abusers say to try to convince you to reconcile. The abuser may also suggest that you are partly to blame for the abuse. Remember: You are not to blame for the abuse. Nobody has the right to assault you physically or verbally. That is why you have chosen to end the relationship.

WHAT DO I DO TO CHANGE VISITATION ARRANGEMENTS IF I AM NOT PERMITTED TO CONTACT THE ABUSER?

If you need to permanently change the day, time or location of the visitation, you must go back to court and ask the court to make the change on the order. If you make the change instead of the court, the order cannot be enforced. If the change is to be a one time change, make arrangements through a neutral third party rather than calling the abuser directly.

WHAT IF I CHANGE MY MIND?

If you wish to date, marry or live with the abuser again, you must go back to court and ask the court to dismiss the restraining order. If the order is not dismissed the abuser can be arrested at any time just for being with you. If you allow the abuser to contact you and he gets into an argument with you or hurts you, it is not likely that the abuser will be found guilty of violating the restraining order.

If you are tempted to drop your restraining order, please consider the following:

  • Children who witness abuse learn that violence is an acceptable way of resolving conflict.
  • Children who witness abuse suffer from a variety of physical and emotional pain. Stomachaches, headaches, ulcers, hyper-activity, acting out behaviors and lack of ability to concentrate are some of the indications that these children are under a great deal of stress.
  • If your partner has drug or alcohol problems, nothing is going to change unless he actually seeks help. Alcohol and drugs do not cause abuse, but may accelerate it.
  • Counseling for the abuser may help to begin the process of change, but it is essential that the abuser go to a program that specifically targets abusive behavior.

Remember: Strictly enforcing your restraining order increases the likelihood the abuser will complete a rehabilitation program or batterer’s counseling program. You need support during this difficult time. Consider joining a support group or calling a battered women’s hotline to speak with a counselor.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF HE WANTS ME TO POST BAIL TO GET HIM OUT OF JAIL?

If you are considering posting bail, be aware that if the abuser does not return to court, you risk losing the money you have posted for bail. Threats, intimidation, crying, pressure from relatives are techniques many abusers use to convince you to arrange bail. Consider that the defendant is not likely to remember you posted bail. Instead, he will believe that you are to blame for the arrest. If you are worried about child support, discuss your concerns with the prosecutor assigned to your case or your attorney so the court can review the matter and make alternative solutions.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF HE WANTS ME TO DROP THE CRIMINAL CHARGES AGAINST HIM?

If you drop the charges, the abuser will believe that the behavior is acceptable and that he can continue to harass you, harm you or control you.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF THE ABUSER CALLS ME AND I WANT TO ENFORCE MY RESTRAINING ORDER?

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU CAN DO ABOUT TELEPHONE HARASSMENT IS GET AN UNLISTED PHONE NUMBER AND MAKE SURE TO GIVE THAT NUMBER ONLY TO PEOPLE WHO WILL NOT PROVIDE IT TO THE ABUSER.

The more contact you have with the abuser, the more the abuser will perceive that it is acceptable to contact you. If your abuser calls you by phone, hang up immediately. Then pick up the phone and at the dial tone press *57. By using *57, you signal the Annoyance Phone Bureau to trace the call. After you have activated *57, call your local police department, giving them the day and time of the call. Please keep a written log of all such calls. When you activate *57, it will be reflected on your next phone bill. Also provide the phone bill to the police and keep copies for your records.

If your abuser calls you collect from jail, accept the charges and hang up the phone. Then call the County Police at (908) 654-9800 and give them the day and time of the call. The abuser will be charged with violating the restraining order.

If the abuser is permitted under the order to call your children, you still should obtain an unpublished number and request a teenage phone extension which only your children will answer so the children may be contacted directly. In the alternative, use an answering machine to screen your calls. If the abuser is calling for the children, let the children pick up the phone.

If the abuser leaves harassing or threatening messages on your answering machine, immediately take the tape out of the machine and contact the police. If the message is left on voice mail, save it and then notify the police.

WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP THE POLICE AND PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE WITH MY CRIMINAL CASE?

The most important thing you can do is save evidence. If you have bruises, ask the police to take pictures or have a friend or family member take pictures. If your abuser writes you letters, save those letters and the envelopes and give them to your local police department as evidence. Keep copies for your own records. If the abuser breaks a window or does other property damage, ask the police to take pictures of the damage. You should obtain receipts for repair of the damage. Give any pictures you have taken of the damage and the receipts to the local police department. Maintain copies of both the pictures and receipts for your own records.

If you have been the victim of a sexual assault, go to the police immediately. They will take you to the hospital for a special examination for important evidence. Do not take a shower or wash before you call the police, otherwise important evidence may be lost. If you have already washed or showered, go to the police anyway. If you have clothing that was torn in any kind of assault, bring it to the police as evidence. Do not wash it.

If you are being followed it is very important to keep a written log of the dates and times of each incident and to contact your local police department with this information.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF THE ABUSER KNOWS WHERE I LIVE OR WORK AND HAS THREATENED ME?

If you are in physical danger from the abuser and he knows where you live, but is not entitled to pick up his children from that address, you should strongly consider moving. Make sure that you do not give the new address to anyone who will give it to the abuser. Always carry a copy of your restraining order with you. Changing locks, putting bars on first floor windows and installing outdoor motion detector lights are some of the things you may consider doing to protect yourself. You should alert your neighbors to your situation and ask them to call the police if they see the abuser on or near your property.

If the abuser knows where you work, be aware of the possibility of the abuser following you home from work and thereby locating your new residence. If your employer has more than one location, this may be a good time to request a transfer to a new location. If the abuser is following you, go immediately to the nearest police department.

SHOULD I TELL MY EMPLOYER ABOUT THE RESTRAINING ORDER?

Yes!!! Having a restraining order is nothing to be ashamed of. It is important to alert those around you to the existence of the order so they will call the police if you are unable to. It is better to overcome any embarrassment than to be seriously injured or killed because those you work with or live with do not know of your situation and, therefore, do not know how to react quickly and appropriately.

SHOULD I TELL THE SCHOOL MY CHILDREN ATTEND?

You should give a copy of the restraining order to any school or child care center that your children attend. You should also point out the custody and visitation arrangements on the order so the abuser is not permitted to remove the children from school when the order does not allow it.

THIS INFORMATION IS PROVIDED BY THE UNION COUNTY PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE AND THE UNION COUNTY DOMESTIC VIOLENCE WORKING GROUP.

IT IS MEANT TO HELP YOU UNDERSTAND HOW TO GET THE MAXIMUM PROTECTION FROM A RESTRAINING ORDER. THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED TO BE A LEGAL INTERPRETATION OF THE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE LAW.

This handout may not have answered all of your questions.
For further questions you may contact:


Project Protect



Regular 908- 355-1995
Hotline 908-355-HELP (4357)

Union County Family Court

908- 527-4993 or 527-4994

Union County Legal Services

908-355-4340

Lawyer Referral Services

908-353-4715

Union County Domestic Violence Center

908-272-0304

. State Domestic Violence Hotline

1-800-572-7233

. National Domestic Violence Hotline

1-800-799-7233

. New Jersey Coalition for Battered Women

609-584-8107


Elizabeth Project

The Elizabeth Project consists of an assistant prosecutor and an Investigator from the Union County Prosecutor’s Office who perform their duties at the Elizabeth Police Department.

The assistant prosecutor provides daily legal advice to the investigative units of the Elizabeth Police Department and also reviews all completed investigations prior to their submission to the Prosecutor’s Office. The assistant prosecutor is also responsible for reviewing affidavits for search warrants and assisting members of the Elizabeth Detective Bureau and Narcotics Unit in obtaining search warrants. In addition, he provides training to members of the Department.

 

Forensic Laboratory

The Union County Prosecutor’s Office Forensic Laboratory was established in 1972 to analyze physical evidence submitted by Law Enforcement agencies in Union County and was New Jersey’s first county laboratory. The Forensic Laboratory also occasionally extends services to the DEA, Customs and Port Authority Police Departments.

The Technical Unit of the Forensic Laboratory is made up of two analytical sections: the Controlled Substances Section and the Biology Section. The Controlled Substances Section provides analysis of illicit drugs to support narcotic investigations and prosecutions. The Forensic Laboratory is designated by the State of New Jersey to certify Drug Analysis and these certifications may be presented at trial in lieu of expert testimony. The Biology section includes DNA analysis which provides Law Enforcement agencies with the establishment of human identification through DNA profiling.

The Forensic Laboratory received accreditation certification in September of 2008 from ASXLD/LAB


Grand Jury Unit

The Grand Jury Unit has the responsibility for presenting to the Grand Jury all indictable cases which have not previously been disposed of through Pre Disposition Conferences. Each case is reviewed by experienced assistant prosecutors in order to insure the adequacy of proofs prior to presentation of the case. If additional investigation is required, the assistant prosecutor may call upon a member of the investigative staff for assistance or upon a representative of the local law enforcement agency which initially worked on the investigation.

 

High Tech Crimes Unit

The Computer/Hi-Tech Squad of the Special Prosecutions Unit conducts investigations involving the use of computers during the commission of a crime. The crimes may involve theft, computer hacking, distribution of child pornography, identity theft, or other illegal activities. These investigations will often involve conducting a forensic examination of a suspect computer system that has been seized by the police.

Since the unit was established in February 1999, we have conducted and been asked to assist in dozens of investigations involving child pornography, theft, child exploitation and other cyber incidents. We anticipate investigating more cases as the computer and Internet crimes become more of a concern to law enforcement.

 

Homicide Task Force

The Homicide Task Force is responsible for the investigation and prosecution of homicides including vehicular homicides. Towards that end, the Task Force is staffed with assistant prosecutors and detectives who are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The responsibilities of the assistant prosecutors range from overseeing the investigations from inception to presenting the cases to the Grand Jury and to representing the State at trial. Detectives assigned to the Task Force assist local law enforcement agencies with the investigation of the homicides. Thereafter, the detectives assist the assistant prosecutors in the preparation of the cases for trial.

 

Intelligence Unit

The mission of the Union County Prosecutor’s Office Intelligence Unit is to gather information from all sources in a manner consistent with the law in support of efforts to provide tactical or strategic information on the existence, identities and capabilities of criminal suspects and enterprises generally and, in particular, to further crime prevention and enforcement objectives and priorities identified by the Union County Prosecutor’s Office.

 

John H. Stamler Police Academy

The Academy, under the authority of the Prosecutor in cooperation with the Union County Police Chief’s Association, services the Union County law enforcement community through its recruit and in service training programs. Two recruit classes are offered each year with first attendance preference being given to Union County municipal agencies. Numerous agencies outside Union County have taken advantage of this most modern of police training facilities in New Jersey through the enrollment and attendance of newly hired police officers.

The elective in service training program is available to law enforcement officers throughout New Jersey. A diverse curriculum is offered with topics ranging from “Fitness and Nutrition for Police Officers” to “Unarmed Self Defense Tactics.” Mandatory in service training requires the attendance of all law enforcement officers in Union County. Every officer within Union County is required to attend an eight hour course of instruction once a year. This training, which was developed by the Prosecutor and the Union County Police Chiefs’ Association, is designed to address those actions of a law enforcement officer which would be most helpful in improving job performance. Topics include domestic violence, report writing, use of force, courtroom testimony and vehicular pursuits. For further information on the police academy, send us e-mail.

 

Juvenile Justice Unit

The Juvenile Justice Unit is responsible for prosecuting juveniles for acts of delinquency which range from violations of township ordinances to murder. The goals of the Unit are to promote swift and certain punishment for repeat violent offenders and to divert minor offenders away from delinquency and further court action.

In addition, the Unit provides daily legal advice to the twenty-two Juvenile Bureaus within Union County and offers legal support to the Juvenile Referee Program. Members of the Unit also volunteer to teach at the Union County Youth Academy where some first time offenders are sent as part of their disposition.


Narcotic Strike Force

The primary goal of the Narcotic Strike Force is to work with local law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute those individuals involved in illegal drug trafficking in Union County. The Union County Narcotic Strike Force, which was established in 1971, is the oldest county wide multi jurisdictional drug task force in the State of New Jersey.

The Narcotic Strike Force is the largest field unit within the Prosecutor’s Office and is comprised of police officers from various Union County municipalities, two assistant prosecutors and investigators from the Prosecutor’s Office. The Strike Force mission revolves around a multitude of task forces, a Patrol Drug Response Team, municipal search warrant preparation, speaking engagements to civic and governmental groups regarding drug law enforcement, technical and surveillance assistance to numerous law enforcement agencies, maintenance of an extensive and sophisticated equipment inventory and the presentation of training courses at the John H. Stamler Police Academy.

 

Organized Crime Section

The Organized Crime Section of the Narcotic Strike Force was established to identify and disrupt the illegal activities of traditional crime families and other sophisticated criminal enterprises operating within Union County. This Section draws upon the total resources of the Strike Force utilizing personnel who are specially trained in surveillance techniques and have received special intelligence information from various law enforcement agencies with regard to organized criminal activity.

 

Plainfield Project

The Plainfield Project is a fully staffed satellite office established in the City of Plainfield with the ultimate goal being the reduction of crime in the city. The office has sought to improve the relationship between the Plainfield Police Division and the Prosecutor’s Office as well as to make the services of the Prosecutor’s Office more accessible to the citizens of the city.

The staff of the Plainfield Project provides legal advice and assistance, as well as investigative support to the Police Division on a daily basis. This includes not only the preparation and review of search warrant affidavits and other legal documents that become necessary during investigations, but also the supplying of manpower to police operations and investigations. Furthermore, all criminal matters arising within the City are screened for accuracy and completeness before being forwarded to the county seat for Grand Jury presentation.


Pre Disposition Unit

In 1986 the Pre Disposition Unitwas established in Union County following the inception of the state wide Speedy Trial Program. The mission of this unit is to identify those cases which may be capable of being resolved prior to presentation to the Grand Jury.

The Unit is staffed by four assistant prosecutors who are responsible for reviewing and assessing the viability of more than 4,000 cases annually. These cases are initiated within the twenty-one Union County municipalities and consist of first, second, third and fourth degree offenses. Approximately fifty percent of these cases are disposed of through the plea negotiation process. Approximately ten percent are diverted into the Pre Trial Intervention Program and roughly twenty percent are administratively dismissed, thereby eliminating the additional costs and manpower required to process these cases through the judicial system.


Released Offender Unit

During the latter part of 1994, in response to a package of legislative enactments known as “Megan’s Law,” the Released Offender Unit was established. The mission of this unit is to insure that released sex offenders are properly registered with appropriate law enforcement agencies pursuant to the statutory mandate. The Unit also coordinates the law enforcement and community notification provisions with regard to these registrants.

Each registrant’s criminal history and institution records are reviewed prior to release from his or her correctional institution in order to determine the registrant’s risk of re-offense. The registrant will then be assigned to a Tier category which identifies the degree of risk posed to repeat his or her criminal acts. The mandated law enforcement, community organization or full community notification will then be made detailing background information pertaining to the registrant.

The Released Offenders Unit, in cooperation with the Victim Witness Unit, also coordinates notification to crime victims and local law enforcement agencies as to the release of all offenders on bail or following service of their sentences.

The Unit is also responsible for reviewing the institutional records of offenders who have been identified by officials in the Department of Corrections as being persons in need of involuntary commitment. Persons so classified will become the subject of civil involuntary commitment proceedings.


Sex Crimes Unit

The Adult Sex Crimes Unit assists local law enforcement agencies in the investigation and prosecution of incidents of sexual abuse and assault of people 13 years or older. Specialized training has been afforded to legal staff and investigative staff members of the Unit to familiarize them with the unique aspects of the law enforcement function in these matters.


Special Prosecutions Unit

The Special Prosecutions Unit conducts investigations and prosecutions of “white collar” crimes, offenses against public administration, election law violations, welfare fraud and violations of the Open Public Meetings Act. Many economic crimes involve complex financial matters which may implicate acts of extortion, bribery, kickbacks, payoffs, bid rigging, embezzlement and other deceptive practices.

The Unit is also charged with the responsibility of investigating and prosecuting crimes which involve misconduct by those in a position of public trust. The subjects of these matters may include elected or appointed public officials as well as law enforcement officers who misuse their positions and attorneys who misappropriate the funds of their clients.


Trial Unit

Thirteen assistant prosecutors staff six criminal courts to represent the State of New Jersey regarding the prosecution of first, second, third and fourth degree criminal matters. Court proceedings in these matters include arraignments, motions pre trial conferences, trials, sentencing, and post conviction relief issues. All indicted cases are routinely scheduled for pre trial conferences during which approximately ninety to ninety five percent of indicted defendants enter guilty pleas. Normally, the balance of indicted cases go to trial.

The judge who presides over the plea or trial proceeding will also impose sentence. The sentencing of defendants may include recommendations made by an assistant prosecutor on behalf of the State of New Jersey.