Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp is hosting the first meeting of his office’s newly expanded Clergy Community Outreach Program on Friday, January 22, 2016.
This meeting will be held at the Morris County Public Safety Training Academy, 500 West Hanover Avenue, Parsippany, New Jersey, at9:00 a.m. About 175 clergy members have been invited to the session. All Morris County Police Chiefs also have been invited.
The Prosecutor’s Office has expanded its existing Community Outreach Program to include all members of the Morris County clergy. According to Prosecutor Knapp, “As the lead law enforcement agency in Morris County, we deal directly with the Attorney General’s Office. Further, we have authority over all Morris County Police Departments. It is important for the clergy to understand the various functions that the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office performs. It is our hope the clergy will convey this understanding to their parishioners.”
The initial meeting is being held in accordance with the Amended New Jersey Attorney General’s Law Enforcement Directive dated July 28, 2015, that mandates law enforcement executives to reach out to and engage community and faith-based leaders regarding Police Use of Force investigations.
The first portion of Friday’s Clergy Community Outreach Program will have Elie Honig, the Director of Criminal Justice for the State of New Jersey, as guest speaker. His presentation will discuss law enforcement actions in regard to officer involved shootings.
In October 2015, Director Honig held a presentation for the Morris Area Clergy Council at Saint Peter’s Episcopal Church in Morristown regarding the amended New Jersey Attorney General’s Use of Force Directive. The meeting, initiated by Prosecutor Knapp, resulted from recent developments concerning interaction between the police and the public.
The second portion of this Friday’s meeting will include a panel discussion addressing various issues as well as answering questions. The panel will feature four (4) members of the Morris County law enforcement community:
Chief James Simonetti, Roxbury Township Police Department
Chief Mark Spitzer, Mount Olive Township Police Department
Chief Assistant Prosecutor Bradford Seabury
Chief Assistant Prosecutor Matthew Troiano
There will be several future seminars scheduled with regard to various topics of interest. Discussions will address any issues of interest or concern expressed by participating clergy members and from those topics, a schedule of future programs will be established. Future meeting topics will include, but are not limited to, Prisoner Re-entry, Sexual Assault, Bias Crime, and the Heroin and Opiate Epidemic.
Prosecutor Knapp stated, “The clergy are in a unique position to help facilitate a continuing dialogue between law enforcement and the public. It is my sincere hope that the program helps in continuing to foster the positive relationship the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office has with the community.”
Though this event is not open to the public, Prosecutor Knapp would like to extend an invitation to local members of the press to cover the event.
Any inquiries can be directed to Deputy Chief of Investigations Denise H. Arseneault at 973-285-6262 or [email protected].