Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

The Morris County Freeholders have reached an agreement with Morris County Sheriff Edward V. Rochford that would allow him to have a key supervisory role in management of the county jail after the county administration assumes control of the county corrections facility on Sept. 1.

Morris County Freeholders and Sheriff Reach Agreement on County Jail Operation

Under terms of the discussions, the sheriff and freeholders would work together on a smooth transition of jail oversight to the freeholders. 

A Memorandum of Understanding between the sheriff and freeholders was formally approved unanimously by the freeholders last night after a meeting with Sheriff Edward Rochford and some of his top staff.

To view the Memorandum, visit: http://morriscountynj.gov/pdfs/150722res-final.pdf

The Memorandum of Understanding will guide the two parties until a formal contract is signed next week.

The freeholders on Wednesday night also agreed to Sheriff Richford’s request to consider potential measures that could be employed to help retain newly hired corrections officers, to help reduce staff turnover that he says makes it difficult to efficiently operate the jail. 

Under terms of the Memorandum of Understanding, the sheriff will supervise and guide the warden, advising him on policy, procedure and personnel matters in the day-to-day operations at the county jail. The freeholders will control finance, labor negotiations and personnel matters.

The freeholder board announced the agreement at their meeting on Wednesday night in Netcong, where they met with Sheriff Rochford. A statement read by Freeholder Director Kathy DeFillippo and Freeholder Doug Cabana, can be viewed at http://morriscountynj.gov/pdfs/FreeholdersAnnounceAgreement–7-23-15.pdf 

“We are pleased that Sheriff Rochford has agreed to work with the freeholders and will continue to be involved in running the jail, which has long had a positive record of accomplishment and professionalism,’’ said DeFillippo.

“It’s in the best interest of county residents that we have been able to work out an agreement with Sheriff Rochford and to have a smooth management transition at the jail,’’ said Freeholder Cabana

“While the Freeholders and I have had differences on this matter, and I still have reservations about the agreement I will work collaboratively with the Freeholders not only for the benefit of the dedicated correction officers and staff, but also for the benefit of the residents of Morris County,” said Sheriff Rochford. 

The freeholders voted on June 24 to take control of the jail – Freeholder John Cesaro abstained, suggesting a need for more review on the issue. 

To view the freeholder’s June 24th resolution, please visit: http://morriscountynj.gov/pdfs/resolution%20jail%20takeover.pdf