Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray, joined by Attorney General Paula T. Dow and other Essex County law enforcement officials, announced today the creation of a county-wide Essex County Prosecutor’s Homicide/Major Crimes Task Force.
The Task Force will be made up of a total of 29 officers from the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, the Essex County Sheriff’s Office, Newark, East Orange, Irvington and Orange Police Departments. In addition, assistance will be provided by the New Jersey State Police and several suburban towns will assign officers one day a week during the summer months of June, July and August to give officers experience investigating major crimes and to enhance the partnerships among law enforcement agencies.
Detectives assigned to the Task Force will work together to investigate and solve all homicides, vehicle homicides, suspicious deaths that require a response, police-related incidents involving death or serious bodily injury, and other serious violent incidents.
“Our goal is to avoid duplication and to put together the most efficient and effective crime-solving team,’’ said Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray. “Given current economic realties, we believe a coordinated approach will best serve the people of this county. We have always worked together with our law enforcement partners, but by housing our team under one roof and one central command we believe there will be even more continuity, cohesiveness and consistency.’’
“When murders occur or when criminals threaten our residents with repeated carjackings or other serial crimes, this Task Force will respond 24/7, bringing the unified resources of the participating agencies to bear with a consistent and cohesive approach to investigations,” said Attorney General Dow. “In doing so, the Task Force will free up other officers to engage in additional crime suppression activities, such as targeted patrols.”
Newark Police Director Samuel DeMaio noted, “In this time of cost-cutting measures in departments across the state, I am pleased that this countywide Homicide/Major Crimes Task Force has been created. Not only will this stretch our ability to ensure that the residents of Newark receive the highest level of police services but it will also allow for better services to agencies throughout the county.”
Director DeMaio added, “We are committed to providing our residents with quality police services. This joint Task Force will enable the Newark Police Department to pool our resources and expertise with that of our partners in the Prosecutor’s Office and the participating local police agencies to further operate more effectively and efficiently.”
The idea of a county-wide Homicide/Major Crimes task force is not new. Hudson County has had a similar arrangement for many years and Union County has done it for the last two years.
East Orange Police Chief William Robinson said, “I want to thank Attorney General Paula Dow, Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn Murray and Chief of Detectives Anthony Ambrose in bringing the municipalities within our county together for collaborative efforts for crime-fighting. As we all know, crime knows no borders and this Task Force shows people who still want to plague our municipalities and county with crime, we are resilient and we will persist with our efforts with the formulation of this Task Force to continue to make our county safer.
Irvington Police Director Joseph Santiago said, “This is a unique opportunity because of the relationship between the various police departments and the members of the Prosecutor’s Office. Violent crime has changed so dramatically it requires collaboration and sharing of resources and intelligence. This Task Force will allow all involved to take advantage of the advances in technology that have become so critically important to addressing violent crime.’’
Orange Police Director John E. Rappaport said, “It is an honor and a privilege for the City of Orange Police Department to be invited to joined the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide Task Force. I am confident the men and women assigned from the Orange Police Department will do due diligence in performing their duties.’’