First Assistant Prosecutor Julia Alonso
Julia Alonso has been a member of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office since September 2002, when she started her career as a law clerk, and was later sworn in as an Assistant Prosecutor in February 2003.
Following assignments to the Office’s Appellate and Family units, Alonso joined the MCPO Trial Division in 2006, where she prosecuted a wide variety of cases. After trying cases there, she was transferred to the Special Victims Bureau in 2009, where she specialized in prosecuting crimes against children and sexual assault cases. Thereafter she did another short stint in the trial teams before joining the Screening and Intake Unit, which oversees Recovery Court, Pre-Indictment Court, Extradition Matters, Bail Reform, and Detention Hearings. While assigned to Screening and Intake, Alonso managed the Office’s Early Disposition Court for nearly seven years. She helped implement Statewide Bail Reform in 2017 and was later promoted to Director of that Unit in April 2021. In that role she screened nearly every indictable criminal complaint for all 53 municipalities in the County, filing for detention or recommending release conditions for defendants under the provisions of Criminal Justice Reform. She took her oath as First Assistant Prosecutor, becoming the first female Hispanic to serve in this capacity, on January 3, 2023.
Alonso teaches recruits at the Monmouth County Police Academy, and serves as a guest speaker for classes at Monmouth University and Brookdale Community College. She also ran the Office’s Detective Enhancement training for several years and served as a court training liaison for the State Police Lab.
She is a member of the Monmouth Bar Association and the Hispanic Bar Association. Alonso holds a Bachelor of Science with a double major in Criminal Justice and Spanish from Rutgers College in New Brunswick, as well as a Juris Doctor from the New England School of Law in Boston.
Deputy First Assistant Prosecutor Christopher J. Decker
Deputy First Assistant Prosecutor Christopher J. Decker joined the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office in 2003, when he began his career as a Law Clerk, then progressed through the Juvenile and Trial Team Divisions. From 2007 until early 2022, he was assigned to the Office’s Major Crimes Bureau, which is responsible for assisting local municipalities with homicides, shooting incidents, serious assaults, suspicious fires, bank robberies, as well as fatal and serious motor-vehicle collisions. In 2013, Assistant Prosecutor (AP) Decker was assigned to the Office’s Asbury Park Satellite Office, which is staffed by an Assistant Prosecutor and Detectives from the Major Crimes Bureau. The Satellite Office operates with the purpose of focusing on the investigation of violent crimes occurring in the Greater Asbury Park area.
In 2015, Decker was promoted to Director of Major Crimes, a role in which he led the Bureau for almost seven years. During the course of his time at the MCPO, Decker has tried numerous cases to verdict, including a dozen murder trials, and supervised hundreds of investigations. Decker is also the chair of the Office’s Community Law Enforcement Unit, which actively works to foster relationships between law enforcement, civilians, and faith-based leaders in Monmouth County. He also co-chairs the Greater Asbury Park Community Development Initiative with the Mayor of Asbury Park, an organization made up of community stakeholders that was founded in 2011 with the goal of providing opportunities for youths and curbing juvenile crime in Asbury Park and Neptune.
Decker also serves as an Advisory Board Member of the Prevention Coalition of Monmouth County and the Tigger Stavola Foundation, organizations that promote advocacy and awareness regarding the dangers of substance abuse disorders. Decker also co-chairs the Monmouth Bar Association’s Criminal Practice Committee.
Decker was promoted to the role of Director of Investigations in February 2022, where he remained until Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago chose him to serve in his current role of Deputy First Assistant Prosecutor.
Decker is a 1999 graduate of Rutgers College in New Brunswick, where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Political Science. At Rutgers, he was a University Senator and the Vice President of the Rutgers College Governing Association. Decker graduated from Rutgers School of Law-Newark in 2003 and accepted a position as a Law Clerk at the MCPO.
John G. McCabe, Jr., Chief of Detectives
John G. McCabe, Jr., is a native of Monmouth County who earned his degree in accounting from Rutgers University in 1986. Mr. McCabe’s law enforcement career began that same year, when he took a position as an investigator with the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office. McCabe became a special agent with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in 1990 and was assigned to the New Jersey Division. In this capacity, McCabe investigated high-level narcotics traffickers and money launderers across the globe. In 2000, McCabe was promoted to Group Supervisor and assigned to the Special Operations Division, where he directed investigations targeting the command and control structure of the Mexican Drug Cartel. In 2003, McCabe was transferred to the Washington, D.C. Division Office, where he led a Mobile Enforcement Team and Metropolitan Police Homicide Prevention Task Force into the capital city’s most beleaguered areas.
In 2004, McCabe was promoted to Chief of the Mexico Central American Section at DEA Headquarters. In this capacity, he managed domestic and foreign investigations linked to Mexico and several Central American countries, most notably implementing the Drug Flow Attack Strategy – a multi-agency collaborative initiative that significantly disrupted the flow of drugs, money and chemicals from source countries into the United States. In 2007, McCabe was assigned to the New Jersey Division as an Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge, where he oversaw two DEA Task Force groups and the entire Northern NJ High Intensity Drug Trafficking Activity Task Force. Working with law enforcement partners statewide, McCabe implemented an intelligence-led, collaborative, multi-agency initiative to proactively attack the drug threat and violence associated with drug trafficking in New Jersey.
McCabe retired from federal law enforcement in 2012, after serving as Acting Special Agent-in-Charge of the DEA from 2010-2011.
After 25 years of federal service, McCabe was sworn in as Deputy Chief of Detectives for the Union County Prosecutor’s Office in July 2012. The following year, McCabe assumed the role of Acting Chief of Detectives under the leadership of Acting Prosecutor Grace Park. During his tenure with Union County, McCabe was responsible for the daily operations of all detectives within the Investigations Division, where he supervised the planning and direction of investigations, and oversaw the administration of investigative activities conducted in compliance with state law enforcement programs.
McCabe was sworn in as the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office’s Chief of Detectives in September 2017, and was sworn in again as Chief of Detectives under Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago in November 2022.
Steven Padula, Chief of Staff
Steven Padula is the Chief of Staff for the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.
Born and raised in Wall Township, Padula began his law enforcement career with the United States Coast Guard in 1982. He served in the Presidential Honor Guard in Washington DC and on Governor’s Island in the New York Harbor. He achieved specialty certifications in Electronics and Computer Programming.
In 1987, he joined the Wall Township Police Department and worked in the Patrol, Juvenile, and Detective Bureaus. He joined the Prosecutor’s Office in 1991 and has since served as Detective, Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain, and Director of Administrative Services. He oversees budgetary and administrative support for the day to day operations of nearly 300 employees including Legal, Investigative, Clerical Support, and Interns.
Padula holds a Masters Degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University and is a New Jersey Certified Public Manager.