Torch Run 2018
Members of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office took part in Torch Run, benefiting Special Olympics New Jersey. The Run takes place all across the state, with 26 different routes, covering 75 miles and ends at the College of New Jersey in Ewing, for the opening ceremonies of the Special Olympics Summer Games. Our team ran through Manasquan heading towards Sea Girt.
One Asbury Park Safe Summer Event
ONE ASBURY PARK/SUPER SAFE SUMMER is an event that took place on Saturday June 2nd from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm on Dewitt Avenue in Asbury Park. It is a street fair in which the Greater Asbury Park Community Development Initiative, Shiloh CFM and service providers throughout the county highlighted programs to members of the community. One of the objectives was to showcase local summer programs that will be available for children and youth during summer and out of school time. There were over 50 service providers and vendors present in addition to health and lead screenings.
The mission of ONE ASBURY PARK/SUPER SAFE SUMMER is to promote community health and wellness while providing awareness about 2018 summer youth programs and local and countywide services. This will all take place while integrating with a city-wide event that will offer family-friendly activities, entertainment, free food/refreshments, health screenings and vendors all in a safe and family-free environment to the youth and families of Greater Asbury Park.
SPCA Law Enforcement Arm Moves Into MCPO
FREEHOLD – The law enforcement component of the county Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is now successfully headquartered with this Office, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.
“Monmouth County residents are not going to notice any changes in the way animal cruelty cases are handled because the new law recognizes the successful model we have employed here for many years. It was designed with our input and real-world experiences,” Gramiccioni said.
Just prior to leaving the Governor’s Office, Chris Christie signed into law a bill that moves the law enforcement powers related to animal cruelty cases from the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NJSPCA) to the various county prosecutor’s offices. Under the newly revised statute, the power of humane law enforcement was transferred to county prosecutors, and each municipality and police department is now required to designate a municipal humane law enforcement officer. The law also requires each county prosecutor to designate an Animal Cruelty Prosecutor to investigate, prosecute, and take other legal action as appropriate for violations of the animal cruelty laws of the state.
The Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MCSPCA) Humane Police Department is led by Chief Enforcement Officer Ross Licitra, a retired Detective Lieutenant from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, who also serves as the executive director of the organization. The second highest ranking humane law enforcement officer at the MCSPCA is Lieutenant Tom Nuccio, who is also a retired Detective Sergeant from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office. Both Licitra and Nuccio retired in 2011.
“Our day-to-day activities will remain the same while we aggressively enforce animal protection laws. We will do our best to protect these vulnerable creatures who find their ways into our hearts and win their place in our family structures at home and in our neighborhoods,” said Licitra.
Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutors Melanie Falco and Joshua Detzky are designated as the county’s Animal Cruelty Prosecutors. Falco also serves as director of the Office’s Financial Crimes and Public Corruption Bureau. Detzky is assigned to that same unit.
To report suspected cruelty to animals in Monmouth County, call 877-898-7297. The old hotline number is no longer in service. Please make a note of this important change.
Active Shooter Drill Simulation at St. Denis School
The Southern Monmouth County Active Shooter Partnership, in cooperation with the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office and Monmouth County Police Chiefs Association conducted a pair of active shooter simulation at St. Denis School in Manasquan on Friday April 20, 2018. The drills included various scenarios to give law enforcement and first responders an opportunity to train in real-life situations in real-time
The drill brought road closures and limited access to the immediate area.
Local high school students volunteered to assist with the exercise, and were on-scene that morning before taking their places inside the mock crime scene.
County law enforcement officials partnered with local municipal police departments and state agencies to conduct a pair of active shooter drills. The drills included scenarios to give law enforcement and first responders an opportunity to train in real-life situations in real-time. The scenarios will include a law enforcement response and coordinated responses from other emergency responders and medical personnel. The exercise is intended to test the capabilities of the Southern Monmouth County Active Shooter Partnership between agencies in Asbury Park, Avon-by-the-Sea, Belmar, Bradley Beach, Brielle, Manasquan, Neptune City, Neptune Township, Sea Girt, Spring Lake, Spring Lake Heights and Wall Township police departments.
The other agencies involved with the Southern Monmouth County Active Shooter Partnership, include surrounding police, EMS/first aid and fire departments, Monmouth County Office of Emergency Management, Monmouth County Fire Marshal, Monmouth County Police Chiefs Association, Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office, and the Monmouth County Emergency Response Team (MOCERT) will participate in the full-scale drill at the former St. Denis School campus in Manasquan.
The full-range of participants faced a simulated active shooter inside the former school building. The exercise was coordinated with Critical Response Group, A Rodgers Group Company, of Ewing Township, New Jersey.
Monmouth and Ocean County Intelligence Bureau Valor Awards Ceremony 2018
MCPO’s Computer Crime Unit receives the Walter C. Witt President’s Award for their participation in the multi-agency “Operation School’s Out,” in 2017. The operation resulted in the arrest of 14 individuals involved in the online viewing and sharing child sexual exploitation materials.
GET REAL About Sex, Violence & Violence Speaking Engagement at Monmouth University
During National Crime Victims’ Rights Week with guest speaker Jeffrey Bucholtz from ‘We End Violence.’
Candle Light Vigil, Springwood Park in Asbury Park
Honoring champions of victims and survivors during National Crime Victims’ Rights Week
MCPO’s own Christopher Decker, Assistant Prosecutor, Major Crimes Bureau and Barbara Suppa, Assistant Prosecutor, Family Division – Victims’ Advocate were both honored for the work with victims. Lt. Delisa Brazile and Kelly Cullari were guest speakers at the event.
FBI Academy Graduates Two From Monmouth
Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni is proud to announce Jeffrey Wilbert, Captain of Detectives in the Criminal Investigations Section of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, is one of 223 graduates of the latest session of the prestigious Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Academy.
“We are extremely delighted with Captain Wilbert’s accomplishment in this class,” said Gramiccioni. “He not only excelled in the class, but also successfully completed the physical challenges offered by the Academy course. His success comes as no surprise given his dedication and professionalism as a respected investigator and officer in this office.”
Joining Captain Wilbert as a graduate of the 271st Session of the National Academy program was Police Chief Andrew Huisman of the Belmar Police Department.
The two Monmouth County law enforcement officers graduated the 10-week program focused on improving the administration of justice in police departments and agencies at home and abroad and to raise law enforcement standards, knowledge, and cooperation worldwide. The highly acclaimed professional course of study for U.S. and international law enforcement managers offers a curriculum focused on intelligence theory, terrorism and terrorist mindsets, management science, law, behavioral science, law enforcement communication, and forensic science. The men were nominated by their agency heads because of demonstrated leadership qualities.
“The professional and personal development gained at the National Academy will definitely enhance Jeff’s law enforcement skills. The knowledge and both the national and international contacts developed at the National Academy will not only benefit him but also the entire agency. We are proud of Captain Wilbert’s success and determination to build on his professionalism,” said John McCabe, Chief of Detectives at the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.
Wilbert successfully completed the “Yellow Brick Road” physical fitness challenge, a grueling 6.1-mile run through a hilly, wooded trail built by the U.S. Marines Corps, he also successfully completed the “Blue Brick,” a 34 mile swim – completed in 30 days and the “Half Ironman Triathlon Challenge Tile,” 70.3 mile swim, bike, run – completed over 3 consecutive evenings during Week 9.
“Attending the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy was an amazing experience, especially being surrounded by so many respected domestic and international law enforcement executive leaders for 10 weeks,” said Captain Wilbert. “As we in law enforcement work hard to forge relationships with our communities, it is also extremely important that we expand our law enforcement communication and networks.”
Wilbert began his law enforcement career in 1995. He is a graduate of the Monmouth County Police Academy and spent the next 10 years for Manasquan, Colts Neck and Ocean Township police departments. He was hired by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office in 2005, where he has spent the majority of his career in the Major Crimes Bureau where has worked or supervised the investigation violent crimes.
The 223 law enforcement officers who graduated from the National Academy came from 48 states, the District of Columbia, 18 countries, five military organizations, and five federal civilian organizations. The FBI National academy Program at Quantico, Virginia, is recognized around the world for its academic excellence.
The 10-week course offers an advanced communication, leadership, and fitness training. The program is offered to select officers with proven professional records within their agencies. On average, the officers selected to attend the program have 21 years of law enforcement experience and many return to their agencies to serve in executive-level positions.
Training for the program is provided by the FBI Academy instructional staff, Special Agents, and other staff members holding advanced degrees with many recognized internationally in their fields of expertise.
“Although I was the one who attended the National Academy this session, our agency, county and state were all represented in the highest regard,” said Captain Wilbert. “In order for this opportunity to happen, many thanks go to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Executive Staff for their endorsement and support, to those who covered for me during the academy, and especially to my wife and family.”
Detectives, Students Cut Their Way into Random Act of Copness
FREEHOLD – Recently, students at the Academy of Law and Public Safety were joined by detectives from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office to take a seat in the barber’s chair to shave their heads in support of Mia Sidorakis – the daughter of a detective here.
Two-year-old Mia Sidorakis is currently undergoing chemotherapy as she fights a rare form of brain cancer at the Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia. Mia’s dad, David Sidorakis, is a detective at the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office (MCPO). Students from the Academy of Law and Public Safety (ALPS) focused their annual charitable giving on raising money to help the family cope with rising medical bills and the costs associated with living closer to the hospital than living at home.
“We guide our students at the Academy of Law and Public Safety through a community service project and fundraiser for cancer awareness every November,” explained ALPS Teacher Capt. Scott McDonald, who is a retired from the Tinton Falls Police Department. “The students chose Mia Sidorakis as this year’s recipient of all the monies donated.”
This year’s fundraising efforts included the largest student participation to-date.
“The 2017 fundraising effort had the largest student participation as of yet,” explained ALPS Teacher Capt. Thomas Powers, who is retired from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office. “One student raised over $7,000 while another student raised over $1,000. Several students raised over $200. They all did a tremendous job to help little Mia.”
Several students, along with a number of MCPO detectives, shaved their heads to support the cause. Other local community groups also came in to support Mia and her family with large donations from Hesse Construction, George Wall Ford in Tinton Falls, and the Pipes and Drums of the Jersey Shore Shillelaghs of Belmar. ALPS staff members donated as well bringing the total money raised for Mia and her family to $12,200 – the largest amount of money raised in the 5-year history of the school’s No Shave November campaign.
The Academy of Law and Public Safety (ALPS) is a full-day, two-year academy for junior and senior Monmouth County students. The ALPS is a career-focused learning environment with a rigorous theme-based curriculum taught through community, industry and higher education partnerships. In the program, students acquire knowledge, skills and professional ethics while utilizing the latest technology related to the law enforcement field.
All students follow a rigorous law enforcement course of study that includes: an Introduction to criminal law, the criminal justice system, criminal investigation, corrections, private security, the police role in the community, and forensic studies of biology, anatomy and physiology.
All ALPS students are pursuing their interest in law, law enforcement, or public safety. Many students are participants in local police department explorer programs, their local first aid squad, emergency medical technicians, volunteer fire and rescue, youth police academy or the Special Police Officer Class 1 Academy.
MCPO Conference Room Dedications
Last week, we took a moment to solemnly remember eight employees who died while employed at the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office: Joseph Arnold, Dilek Denker, Robert Fary, Angelica Napolitano, Shaminka Rivera, Ervin Slover, Sev Temizoglu, and Linda Whitaker. While some of these tragic losses happened as recently as this year, or as far back as to 1985, they all remain difficult losses for our Office family to process. To formally recognize their dedication and kinship with to this fine Office, we commemorated them by naming office conference rooms in their honor and memory. While these employees worked in different offices, units or otherwise, they make up part of the foundation of this Office. Each of them made substantial contributions to the work we do here daily, and their memories will be carried on in these conference rooms where we work to do justice each day. Their spirits will continue to fill our halls, and all will be fondly recalled in the annals of history within the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.
Special Needs Registry Outreach Meeting
What an exciting meeting! The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office hosted a meeting to discuss the Special Needs Registry. With over 75 people in the room from 48 agencies – it truly was amazing. The collective efforts of our local and county law enforcement agencies to help our special needs residents was incredibly uplifting as we discussed ways to improve our outreach to those who need our help the most. We would like to thank Pro…secutor Gramiccioni, Sheriff Golden, all of our police chiefs, police officers, dispatchers and advocates of the SNR for coming out today.
We also had the honor to call attention to some folks who have really gone above and beyond to help their community by way of the Special Needs Registry. Ms. Jonna Viggiano of the Joseph C Caruso School in Keansburg, Ptl. Craig Hausmann of the Aberdeen Township Police Department, Detective Todd Smith of the Freehold Township PBA Local #209, Communications & Network Supervisor Steven Gerrity of the Howell Township Police Department, Autism and Special Needs Outreach Coordinator Fran Hines and Public Safety Telecommunicators Allison Welker and Zachary McCarthy of the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office received certificates of outstanding service.
Local Officers Return from Puerto Rico Relief Efforts
On November 4, The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, in conjunction with local towns, New Jersey Office of Emergency Management and New Jersey State Police, sent a group of officers to Puerto Rico to assist in the recovery efforts from Hurricanes Irma and Maria. The third wave deployment was assigned to posts in Bayamon, San Juan and Caguas P.R.. to assist with security and traffic control. The team returned home this past weekend from a 2-week stay. It’s been the largest undertaking of its kind since Hurricane Katrina.
“While Monmouth law enforcement officers take oaths to protect and serve our county citizens, their care and concern for fellow American citizens transcends County and State lines.
It has been said that nothing is as strong as the heart of a volunteer. Those officers that deployed to Puerto Rico personify this mantra. I’m thankful this holiday season to lead such remarkable individuals, and to welcome them home safe,” Monmouth County Prosecutor Chris Gramiccioni stated.
The deployment consisted of members of the State Police, Freehold Borough, Howell Township, Long Branch, Middletown Township, Neptune Township and Red Bank police departments.
“I’m proud of the hard work, dedication and selflessness these officers displayed providing invaluable law enforcement assistance to the citizens of Puerto Rico while ongoing efforts of the same continue,” Chief John G. McCabe said.
In the gallery below, you can see photos of Strike Team 11 at the Escuela Elemental de Josefita Monserrate de Selles School in Bayamon, Puerto Rico for the Special Education March. The team comprised of Detective Jason Apaza from the MCPO, Detective Ian Fenkel and Trooper Brad Hippe of the NJ State Police and Sergeant Diego Flores of Freehold Borough Police Dept., handed out food, water and other supplies to the children and families of the school. The team members delivered supplies and met with the children, teachers, staff and families daily and worked side by side with different law enforcement agencies from New Jersey as well as the Puerto Rico State Police.
After 25 years, Executive Assistant Donna DeMatthews is set to retire at the end of 2017. While we are thrilled for Donna, this is a loss that truly hits us hard here at the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.
Donna joined the office in November of 1992 and began her career in the Trial Section, soon thereafter Donna was selected to become the Executive Assistant to the Prosecutor, providing support for the Executive Team. Donna has also worked with the Investigative Administration/Homeland Security and Office of Emergency Management, as well as the Narcotics Division. In 2012, Donna returned to the Executive Team.
Donna has always been a stabilizing and grounding presence here throughout all times, including those ups and downs that are inevitably experienced. Donna is a steady presence for us to this day, one that we will truly miss. It’s a bittersweet day, but one made better by knowing how hard Donna worked and how much she deserves her retirement. Donna has been the picture of grace and professionalism for her entire career.
We want to take a moment to thank Donna for all her contributions to this office over the years and wish her a very happy and healthy retirement.
It is with extreme sadness and grief that we announce the passing of retired MCPO Det. Sgt. Barry Graves, who died suddenly and unexpectedly last night.
Sgt. Graves served 22 years with our office, and more than 31 total years in law enforcement, retired only last October. He was a true friend, partner and hero to so many in State law enforcement, and his legacy will long remain in the halls of our great institution. Please allow me to share some of Barry’s many public contributions to our safety and security:
Barry began his career as a U.S. Marine assigned to NWS Earle from 1982 to 1985. After being honorably discharged from the Marines, Barry was hired by the Tinton Falls Police Department in 1985, working there until 1994 when he was hired by this Office. Short of a few months in Trial Support, Barry dedicated 20+ years working in our county’s Narcotics Strike Force. It is here where Barry truly left his mark, working in an undercover capacity on hundreds of cases and participating in the Tactical Narcotics Team (TNT). As an undercover, Barry made over 1000 undercover narcotics purchases, and purchased contraband including illegal firearms and fraudulent identification documents. Barry was even solicited to be a hitman on six occasions and, in one case, the target tried to hire Barry to kill a Lakewood police officer. As a sergeant, Barry supervised various narcotics investigations involving undercover operations; controlling informants; planning/executing search warrants; utilizing electronic surveillance techniques; surveillance of narcotics and gang operations; and coordinating with federal, state and municipal law enforcement agencies. In recognition of his tactical expertise, Barry was a longtime instructor at the Division of Criminal Justice Basic Course for Investigators, and a member of the Top Gun, Electronic Surveillance Course and UNIT training faculty. Over the course of his career, Barry made thousands of arrests of criminals and participated in the execution of more than 1100 search warrants.
As great of a man Barry was as a detective, it pales in comparison to the type of father he was to his lovely children, and friend he was to so many. We will remember your big bright smile, trademark toothpick-in-mouth, and gregarious and affable attitude you brought with you each day.
Rest In Peace Barry. Time will not dim the glory of your deeds.
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum visit by Monmouth County Law Enforcement 2017
Members of Monmouth County law enforcement community recently participated in a two-day program sponsored by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, in conjunction with the Center for Holocaust, Human Rights & Genocide Education (Chhange) and The Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey. The program kicked-off with an open discussion about anti-Semitism, bias, and the critical role of law enforcement in promoting positive community relations. The centerpiece of the program was a private tour of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, led by Holocaust survivors. The program concluded with a discussion at the museum about the law enforcement officers’ experiences during the program and its relevance to law enforcement today.
New Jersey Narcotics Enforcement Officers Association Awards
The Monmouth County Prosecutors Office Narcotics Strike Force, along with the assistance and participation of investigators from the following agencies: Freehold Borough Police Department, Drug Enforcement Administration, NJ State Police, Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office, and the Marlboro Police Department, were recognized by and receive an award from the New Jersey Narcotics Enforcement Officers Association (NJNEOA) on June 08, 2017, at the annual awards luncheon in Atlantic City, for their hard work and efforts for “Operation Justice Served”.
Shining Light on Activities at the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office
Prosecutor Gramiccioni welcomed summer interns and law clerks to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office this morning (June 13, 2017). The Prosecutor fielded questions about the Office and career paths and pointed out that many people in the Office currently started out in much the same way as summer interns or law clerks.
After 25 years with the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, Chief Clerk Rita Wilson retired on January 31, 2017. While we are personally thrilled for Rita, this is truly a difficult loss for the MCPO.
Rita began her career at the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office on June 3, 1991. Her professionalism and dedication was respected by those whom she supervised and by our executive staff. Rita routinely proposed new ideas to increase work productivity and streamline work flow. Rita’s staff always had her full support and gratitude and she was their biggest champion throughout the office.
Rita – on behalf of a grateful Office and County, we thank you for your countless contributions to this Office, and its mission, and we wish you a happy and healthy retirement.
Congratulations to Ariel Moynihan, a senior at Freehold Township High School, one of the winners of the Freehold Regional High School District “Spooktacular Window Painting Contest.” Ariel was selected to display her painting at the Freehold Borough Municipal Building. ….Her mother is Victoria Erskine from our office staff.
Monmouth County is losing yet another rock star to a well-earned retirement.
Assistant Prosecutor and Senior Litigation Counsel Peter J. Boser has retired after a long and distinguished career of dedicated service to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.
Pete was originally hired as a Law Clerk in 1985 and sworn in as an Assistant Prosecutor in 1987. Over the next three decades, Pete was promoted to and held numerous supervisory positions in our Office including Director of Forfeiture, Executive Prosecutor in charge of Screening and Senior Litigation Counsel. But it was as the Director of the Sex Crimes/Child Abuse Unit, a position he held for many years, where Peter truly distinguished himself. Under his leadership, Pete made sure that each matter was handled with wisdom and fairness and that justice was done – not an easy balance in handling the inherently sensitive cases he carried and supervised. Regardless, Pete made sure that each victim was treated with compassion and concern.
During this time, Pete was instrumental in setting up the Child Advocacy Center (CAC) as well as the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) program. With his help (Pete is literally the informal “architect” of the CAC), we were able to complete Phase II of the CAC to ensure it is the full service facility that we always envisioned. Pete’s influence on the project was vital and he helped bridge the gap between the mission of the Friends of the CAC. Gratefully, after his retirement, Pete will continue to support the CAC mission by serving on the Friends board.
More importantly, Peter’s even-tempered and friendly personality made him sought out by co-workers looking for advice or support. Pete was always willing to give his time to colleagues – detectives, clericals, paralegals, or fellow assistant prosecutors. He was dedicated to all law enforcement, and would put in extra hours handling advice calls or directing investigations, even in the midst of trial.
Looking through Pete’s resume from 1985 revealed that not only was he President of his Rutgers-Camden Law School Class, but he also received the distinction as an “Outstanding Young Men of America.” Looking back at his great career, we can all agree that Pete truly lived up to that early promise!
Pete, we will truly miss you and wish you the best in your upcoming retirement. On behalf of a grateful Office and County, we wish you fair winds and following seas. Thank you for your steadfast and fantastic contributions to this Office and its mission. Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.
National Night Out 2016
POLICE UNITY TOUR 2016
On May 9, 2016, Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Captain Natalie Zuppa, Captain Barry DuBrosky, Lieutenant Wesley Mayo, Lieutenant Jeffrey Wilbert, Detective Sergeant Ryan Muller and Detective Kevin Condon departed from New Jersey and began their bicycle ride to the National Law Enforcement Memorial and Museum in Washington, DC. This was the tenth year that detectives from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office participated in this 250 plus mile ride and the 20th Anniversary of the Police Unity Tour. The annual “Ride for Those Who Died” honors Law Enforcement Officers killed in the line of duty, and provides funding for the police museum, which is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive museum honoring the duty and sacrifice of America’s law enforcement officers. Year after year, members of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office ride in honor and remembrance of the 20 Law Enforcement Officers killed in the line of duty in Monmouth County. After four days of bicycling, members of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office joined with approximately 2000 other law enforcement officers from around the country and arrived at the National Law Enforcement Memorial.
2016 TORCH RUN
Since 1984, members of the New Jersey Law Enforcement community have successfully coordinated and participated in the Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run. This event has been recognized in the world as the top grassroots fundraising organization for the Special Olympics organization. Participants are required to run a dedicated route within Monmouth County with members of their agency at which time the torch is handed over to the next participating agency. Ultimately, the torch is carried throughout the State of New Jersey to the Opening Games of the Special Olympics which is held annually at The College of New Jersey in Ewing, New Jersey. This past June, members of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, in conjunction with members of Monmouth County Detectives, Inc., PBA Local No. 256 once again participated in this most worthy cause.