MONT ARLINGTON – Morris County District Attorney Robert J. Carroll briefed participants in the Morris County League of Municipalities on the impact of the COVID-19 public health emergency on criminal justice and the challenges facing the forces order are faced in 2021 at the September meeting.
The dinner was held at the Lake Hopatcong Yacht Club on Wednesday, September 15 and was moderated by Long Hill Township Mayor Guy Piserchia.
Prosecutor Carroll introduced himself and the role his office plays in the criminal justice system, and how it continues to operate under evolving COVID-19 circumstances and protocols, including adapting to new legislation and directives from the Attorney General’s office.
Despite the public health emergency, in 2020, the MCPO conducted 2,375 prosecutions, of which 449 resulted in a guilty plea, and reviewed 3,398 additional cases.
Prosecutor Carroll described some key challenges – an increase in fatal opioid overdoses; a high number of vehicle thefts, frequently involving key chains left inside; and the increase in the number of suicides, domestic violence, armed criminal violence and child sex / endangerment crimes.
âLocal police, county agencies and federal law enforcement are coordinating in operations, sharing intelligence and showing real progress in addressing challenges. ,” he said.
“This allows for a focused, strategic and tactical approach to investigations wherever they occur. The MCPO uses some of the latest and most effective high-tech investigative tools to track, identify and ultimately arrest criminals seeking to avoid to be apprehended. “
For example, he said these high-tech techniques played an important role in two of the top three murder cases for which arrests were made in a recent 16-day span.
âIt bears repeating that the public can greatly assist our efforts by removing their key chains every time they leave their cars. “
Since the launch of a program equipping law enforcement with the Narcan program, there have been 1,079 deployments, and 92% or 989 have been successful in reversing otherwise fatal overdose situations, meaning that nearly one 1,000 lives have been saved thanks to the intervention of the police.
âTo address the mental health challenge, the MCPO is working with the Mental Health Association, Sheriff James Gannon and the judiciary on a coordinated early identification program – dubbed the Mental Health Diversion Program – uniting police, prosecutors and medical specialists to conduct assessments of subjects believed or claimed to have a mental health problem, âCarroll said.
“Sheriff Gannon leads the Community Connections program, providing eligible defendants with useful alternatives including social, medical and legal services to leave the drug addict or criminal life and rejoin society.”
MCPO staff and members of local police departments also undergo Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training, in order to provide a more effective response to people facing a mental or behavioral health crisis.
âThe Morris County District Attorney’s Office and our county and local law enforcement partners are dedicated to restoring and strengthening civic faith in law enforcement and working with our diverse communities to create lines of communication. viable to solve problems that may not have been solved before. I’m here to say, unequivocally, that your law enforcement agencies are working together and cooperating effectively at all major levels, âCarroll said.
âInvestigation and support services are combined for efficiency and cost savings. Most importantly, I see greater unity within our communities, despite the political differences we hear about every day. What we absolutely need is your continued support and cooperation as community leaders. Together. , we will respond and successfully address many of these challenges.