Tuesday, January 19th, 2016

Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp will host the first meeting of his office’s newly expanded Clergy Community Outreach Program this Friday, Jan. 22, at 9 a.m., at the Morris County Public Safety Training Academy in Parsippany.

Prosecutor Fredric Knapp

Prosecutor Fredric Knapp

About 175 clergy members from across Morris County have been invited to the session. All Morris County Police Chiefs also have been invited.

“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,” said Prosecutor Knapp. “As such, 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 attend these sessions and convey this understanding to their parishioners.”

This initial meeting is being held in accordance with the Amended New Jersey Attorney General’s Law Enforcement Directive of July 28, 2015, which 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 feature Elie Honig, the State Director of Criminal Justice, as guest speaker. He will discuss law enforcement actions in regard to officer involved shootings. (In October, Honig held a similar presentation for the Morris Area Clergy Council in Morristown.

clergy

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 members of the Morris County law enforcement community:

  • Chief James Simonetti, Roxbury Township Police Department
  • Chief Mark Spitzer, Mount Olive Township Police Department
  • Morris County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Bradford Seabury
  • Morris County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Matthew Troiano

Several future clergy seminars will be 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.

The clergy are in a unique position to help facilitate a continuing dialogue between law enforcement and the public,” said Prosecutor Knapp. “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 has extended an invitation to interested members of the news media to cover the event.

Any inquiries can be directed to Deputy Chief of Investigations Denise H. Arseneault at 973-285-6262 or [email protected].