COmmuniTy JusTiCE uniT nEwsLETTEr
The essex County
volume oNe • summer 2007 50 W. market st., Newark, NJ 07102 • (973) 621-4700 • www.njecpo.org
New Crime Scene
Last fall, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office unveiled
a 15,000 square foot crime scene investigation facility.
The $2.5 million unit, funded by forfeiture money seized
from defendants, was designed to improve the collection, LEFT: Fluorescent powder illuminated with ultra violet light assists
processing and packaging of forensic evidence in Essex detectives in finding fingerprints.
County. “Essex County is now at the forefront of fusing RIGHT: Detective Robert Parsons uses the cyanoacrylate fuming chamber
science and technology with fighting crime. This building is the
optimum showcase of future crime scene investigations,” said In addition to investigating homicides, shootings and sex crimes,
Paula Dow, Essex County Prosecutor. the crime scene unit is able to assist county police departments
in burglaries and other routine matters. Recently it assisted the
The facility features a forensic processing room, digital photo West Caldwell Police Department in solving a case involving a
processing room, and a drying chamber designed to process string of burglaries. The unit collected forensic evidence at the
and package blood soaked evidence. Its high tech computer crime scene, which was later used to find the perpetrator.
system allows detectives to visually reconstruct crime scenes.
The facility is also home to the vehicular homicide unit, a team “It’s a pleasure to work in a unit like this. We have every tool
that investigates fatal collisions, serious bodily injuries and that we need to get the job done,” said Captain Robert Carella.
fatalities. There is a processing room equipped with a hy- Captain Carella oversaw the production of the crime scene
draulic lift and air tools, which allow investigators to exam- facility which began as an abandoned warehouse. Arrange-
ine motor vehicles from all angles. “It’s an improvement ments were made for Essex County prisoners to gut out and
in surroundings and the equipment puts us on par and well clean the building. Contractors were later hired to design the
above other police agencies across the state and country,” add- state of the art facility.
ed Howard Johnson, Essex County Detective of 13 years.
“No other prosecutor has placed this much effort in the
crime scene unit. We are greatly appreciative of Prosecutor
Dow’s efforts. Given our new equipment, we can obtain the
forensic evidence to help better prosecute our cases,” said
INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
ANTHONY DEMARCO pg 2
Staff members at the crime scene unit.
NEW FACES AT ECPO pg 3
Six crime scene vehicles, equipped with digital cameras, HONORING THOSE
portable lighting systems, scene guard kits and measuring WHO SERVE VICTIMS pg 4
devices fill the parking lot. Employees at the crime scene
unit have doubled to twenty. Staff members include assistant CAREER DAY AT UMDNJ pg 5
prosecutors, supervisors, detectives, and clerical. The facility RESPONDING TO
has space to accommodate additional employees and store SCHOOL VIOLENCE pg 8
large amounts of files.
In Remembrance of
mESSAGE “Anthony gave a voice to victims left in each case he handled. He showed
behind and he will surely be missed,” consideration for all people and always
It is my pleasure to introduce you to the said Carolyn E. Wright, Deputy Chief brought honor and decency to any court
Essex County Prosecutor’s Office latest Assistant Prosecutor, with the Essex he worked,” said Gary Bogdanski, Assis-
newsletter, The Essex Observer. This is County Prosecutor’s Office. Anthony tant Prosecutor with ECPO since 1981.
an exciting time for us! The newsletter DeMarco, an assistant prosecutor with
has a new name and a new look. It is He was a friend that you could always
the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office
reflective of our efforts to bring in depth rely upon. As the attorneys in the office
for the past 18 years, passed away on
information to you about this office. became younger, he quickly and unself-
ishly, assumed the role of mentor. His
Recently, we opened a state of the “Anthony DeMarco, known as A.D. to wit and good nature belied his size. The
art crime scene unit. As a result of its everyone he knew, was the embodi- only thing bigger than A.D. was the size
expanded resources, we can now pro- ment of what a prosecutor should be: of his heart.
vide crime scene investigation assis- loyal, compassionate and fearless. A.D.
tance to all law enforcement agencies in “I have so many fond memories of
relished the good fight and served as
Essex County! A.D., but one of my fondest memories is
the champion for the little guy. He
his love for dogs. He truly cared about
Staff members who compassionately considered himself a soldier. It wasn’t
homeless animals and would go out of
provide support to victims and witnesses about the glory of winning or having his
his way to pick up stray dogs. He would
were honored during National Crime name in the paper, though he loved all of
keep many of the strays that he picked
Victims Week. Doris Stoeckel received those things as well. He was a soldier in
up. One day I told him that I saw a bunch
the Essex County Teamwork Award. We the battle we wage for justice. A.D.
of stray dogs in Branch Brook Park and
are pleased to introduce you to our new was respected by the bench, bar, pros-
he proceeded to drive around the park to
employees in the office. ecutors and defense attorneys alike,”
look for them. He was frustrated because
The Community Justice Unit recently he didn’t find any of them, but he told
held career days for fourth, fifth and sixth “Anthony was well respected in the legal me the next time I saw them to call him
grade students through our partnerships community,” added Gwendolyn Williams, immediately. He was a loyal friend to
with Project Vision and Project I.C.A.N. Director, Community Justice Unit and many,” said Cheryl Cucinello.
Assistant Prosecutor with the ECPO.
Even though these times are exciting, “As a teammate, you could never have a
we say goodbye and best wishes to our “Professionally speaking, A.D. was a better one than A.D. He cherished your
colleagues who have retired: Grace ferocious, but fair assistant prosecutor. friendship. You could always count on him
Esposito, Director Assistant Prosecu- He was highly respected by his adver- to help you with a problem or listen to you.
tor, Carole Fitzgibbon, Director Assis- saries who could see that he possessed He was a true stand up guy,” continued
tant Prosecutor, Assistant Prosecutor a strong sense of fairness and justice Bogdanski.
Joan Love, Detective Cheryl Contreras, Congratulations to the winner of the Name Our Newsletter contest!
Detective Herbert Pendleton, Detective Mira Ohm will receive a gift certificate for naming our newsletter,
Daniel Pope, Lieutenant Charles Wil- The Essex Observer!
liams and Captain Patrick DeFrancisci.
Also, we take time to reflect on the loss of
one of our colleagues, the late Anthony CommUNITy JUSTICE UNIT: Nicole Graves-Watson,
DeMarco, Assistant Prosecutor. Community Justice Coordinator
Paula T. Dow,
This newsletter also highlights a few of Essex County Prosecutor Sandra Luna,
our trial and appellate successes. Each Keith Harvest,
issue we will highlight one of our local Chief Assistant Prosecutor Lloyd Holmes,
police departments for the great job Andrea McCoy Johnson,
they’re doing. Deputy Chief Assistant Prosecutor *If you have an idea or suggestion
of what you would like to see in the
Paula T. Dow Gwendolyn Williams, newsletter, please send an e-mail to
Essex County Prosecutor Director Assistant Prosecutor email@example.com
Community Justice Unit
2 • The essex observer
New Faces business. Detective Bowers enjoys weight
lifting, horseback riding, fishing, garden-
In this role, he worked alongside the Drug
Enforcement Agency, Federal Bureau of
ing, traveling and dancing. Investigations and various municipalities.
at ECPo QUINCy DAVIS “I am very excited to be a part of the
Nineteen men and women have been Essex County Prosecutor’s Office. I
Eight years ago, Quincy
appointed to the esteemed Essex County feel that the office has many career
Davis, began his career
Prosecutor’s Office in the last six months. opportunities to offer,” said the married
in law enforcement with
They come from various walks of life father of one. When not spending time with
the East Orange Police
with the common goal of civil service his 16 month old daughter, Di Rocco enjoys
Department. He rose
and commitment to justice. biking. He and his wife are expecting their
through the ranks to become a detective
second child in the fall.
in the criminal investigation bureau. As
a detective, he conducted investigations
on homicides, sexual assaults, robberies, JoSE GoNzAlEz
aggravated assaults and domestic vio- Jose Gonzalez brings
lence incidents. A self-described leader, 17 years of law en-
Detective Davis feels that his dedication, forcement experi-
quality performance and excellent ver- ence to the Essex
bal skills are strengths that he brings to County Prosecutor’s
his new position as detective within the Office. Most recently, Detective Gon-
adult trial section of the Essex County zalez, served in the criminal gangs and
Prosecutor’s Office. “I’m very honored intelligence unit of the Newark Police
Prosecutor Dow with new employees.
to be a part of the Essex County Pros- Department. Detective Gonzalez was
ecutor’s Office. Staff members have responsible for gathering, evaluating,
shown professionalism, which is some- analyzing and disseminating informa-
mICHEllE AlVAREz times lost in other levels of law enforce- tion regarding street gangs, traditional
Michelle Alvarez, a re- ment,” said Detective Davis. Detective organized crime and narcotic distribution.
cent graduate of Wil- Davis enjoys spending time with his two He created a database that identified
liam Paterson University, daughters ages 11 and 8. gang members. Detective Gonzalez
joined the Essex County taught courses at various police acad-
Prosecutor’s Office as JUDITH DERoSA emies throughout the state on gang rec-
a clerk in the Office of Victim-Witness Ad- ognition. He gave presentations to com-
Judith DeRosa, an at-
vocacy. Alvarez was previously employed munity organizations and schools about
torney for the past 19
as a bank teller. A self described diligent the dangers of gangs and Internet safety.
years, recently joined
worker, Alvarez feels honored to be a Prior to leaving the department, Gonza-
the Essex County
member of the prosecutor’s office. She lez served as an acting sergeant with su-
Prosecutor’s Office as
looks forward to a rewarding career with the pervision duties.
an assistant prosecutor in the trial divi-
office. Alvarez enjoys spending her spare
sion. “I look forward to working with my Gonzalez feels privileged to be a member of
time with family members and friends.
peers to ensure that justice is served the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office. “It’s
to the residents of Essex County,” a great atmosphere where I feel appreciat-
TRoy BoWERS said DeRosa. Most recently she was a ed for my work ethics and dedication,” said
Troy Bowers, a twenty partner in the law firm of Kugleman & Detective Gonzalez. During his spare time,
-one year police veteran, DeRosa. She specialized in personal Gonzalez enjoys playing sports, watching
recently joined the Es- injury matters and medical malpractice. comedies and listening to music.
sex County Prosecutor’s DeRosa previously served as an
Office in the adult trial assistant municipal court prosecutor in mARylEN HABIB
section. Most recently, Detective Bowers Union County. For the past five years,
“I am proud to be a
was a sergeant with the East Orange Po- she’s served on the Office of Attorney
member of the larg-
lice Department, where he supervised po- Ethics committee in Union County.
est law firm in New
lice officers and administrative profession- DeRosa enjoys gardening, cooking and
Jersey and work with
als. Detective Bowers worked in a unit that watching her son play in Little League.
some of the best
addressed quality of life concerns including
attorneys in the state,” stated
street level drug trafficking, the illegal use of CHRISToPHER DI RoCCo Marylen Habib, Assistant Prosecutor
firearms, gang activity and prostitution. Dur- Christopher Di Rocco in the juvenile division. Habib was
ing his tenure with the East Orange Police served as a sheriff of- previously employed as an associ-
Department, Detective Bowers and his unit ficer within the Essex ate with a private law firm, where
created the department’s first database of County Sheriff’s Office she prepared memoranda and
criminal gang members. for 12 years prior to join- briefs for arbitration hearings and
Detective Bowers aspires to excel ing the Essex County proceedings involving the state’s insur-
within the ranks of the ECPO, to further his Prosecutor’s Office. Detective Di Rocco
was a canine trainer in the narcotics unit. (continued on page 6)
education and eventually open his own
The essex observer • 3
Honoring Those Who Serve Victims
To commemorate National Crime Victims Rights’ Week, on McCauley presented an award to Linda Nevadomski, an
April 23, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office (ECPO) honored assistant prosecutor for the past nine years. “Linda is a
members of its team who make a difference in the lives of crime constant professional. She often works long into the evening
victims and witnesses every day. Individuals were honored for to ensure that her cases are well prepared. Linda always has
championing on the behalf of victims and witnesses. encouraging words for clients and co-workers.”
“Crime victims deserve justice. They are crying out for help Assistant Prosecutor Ronald Rowbotham also received the
and it’s our duty to address their needs. Witnesses are often Award of Excellence. Rowbotham said he was honored to
threatened for assisting with investigations. Our team works receive the award. McCauley presented the Award of Excellence
effortlessly with victims and witnesses on a daily basis. They to Lieutenant John Brewington. “We want to recognize Lieutenant
show compassion, strength and produce positive results. For Brewington for his compassion, patience and support for crime
these reasons, we honor them. We thank you for the great victims. His integrity and insight proved very instrumental in helping
work that you do on the behalf of victims and witnesses in prosecutors work on cases,” said McCauley.
Essex County,” said Paula T. Dow, Essex County Prosecutor.
“Detective Michelle Bolan is diligent in her job responsibilities.
Reverend Irving Childress from New Beginnings Faith It’s truly a pleasure working with her,” said McCauley of the
Fellowship Ministries in Orange led the audience in prayer prior Award of Excellence recipient. Prosecutor Dow presented
to the dissemination of the awards. Pamela McCauley, Direc- an award to Detective Louis Garrett. “Detective Garrett is
tor of the ECPO Victim’s Witness Unit, presented the Essex professional and consistent. He makes victims feel like they’re
County Prosecutor’s Office Eagle Award to the House of Mercy members of his family. His patience puts them at ease.”
Mission for providing food and shelter to victims. “The House of
Mercy Mission has always provided kindness and spiritual sup- The final Award of Excellence was presented to Detec-
port to victims that we referred. They’ve never turned anyone tive Thomas Demetriou, a detective in the Juvenile Trial
down,” said McCauley. Unit of ECPO, for being an asset to the Prosecutor’s Office.
The Newark special victims unit received the Chief David
Martinez Award for the exceptional service to the county’s
most vulnerable citizens. The South Orange Police Department
was also recognized for their outstanding work with crime
victims. Chief of Police James Chelel of the South Orange police
department accepted the Chief David Martinez Award on the
behalf of the men and women on the police department.
Partners for Women in Justice and The Rachel Coalition
received the Richard Pompelio Leadership Award. “These
organizations are instrumental in helping victims of domes-
tic violence. They have truly stepped to the forefront in help-
ing domestic violence victims,” said Prosecutor Dow. Partners
for Women in Justice provide
counseling and legal services
to victims. The Rachel Coali-
tion also provides outreach
Left to right: Assistant Prosecutor Robert Robowtham, Assistant services to women and their
Prosecutor Walter Dirkin, Prosecutor Dow, Detective Louis Garrett
and Detective Michelle Bolan
children. Imam Abdela Su-
dan closed the ceremony with
The Essex County Prosecutor’s Award of Excellence was
presented to employees for their compassion and support of Pamela McCauley, coordinator National Crime Victims’
Essex County crime victims and crime witnesses. Prosecutor of the victim witness unit and Rights week is observed
Dow presented the first award to Leslie Branch, an assistant Prosecutor Dow present South
annually from April 22 to
prosecutor. “This award is presented to Leslie Branch who is Orange Police Chief James Chelel
with award. April 28 to honor crime vic-
diligent in her job responsibilities. She is always prepared to tims and those who serve
advocate for justice” stated Prosecutor Dow. Branch said she them. The week long commemoration also highlights the
was honored to receive the award and thanked her colleagues accomplishments made for victims and pays tribute to those
for their support. whose lives have been interrupted by crime.
Assistant Prosecutor Walter Dirkin was awarded for his dedica- The Essex County Prosecutor’s Office of Victim-Witness Unit
tion and support to victims and witnesses. Assistant Prosecutor has served the county for over 25 years. This unit guides
Peter Guarino was awarded for giving a voice to victims who victims through the criminal justice system, provides referrals
cannot speak for themselves. Guarino boasted, “It feels good for social services and medical compensation as mandated by
to hear someone say nice things about you for doing your job.” the State of New Jersey’s Office of Victim Witness Affairs.
4 • The essex observer
Career Days at UmDNJ & ECPo
“I love career day!” Shouted nine year-old Naquil Owens of Students in Project I.C.A.N. participate in various events
Dayton Street School in Newark. Eighteen fourth and fifth coordinated by the prosecutor’s office throughout the school year.
graders from Dayton Street School attended a career day at Director Williams looks forward to including additional schools
UMDNJ coordinated by the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office. in the upcoming year.
The extended school day experience was held on April 5.
Students were introduced to career opportunities in health-
care and law enforcement at the largest teaching hospital in
Nancy Dunlap, Executive Assistant to the President & CEO of Uni-
versity Hospital welcomed students and their teachers. Dr. Janet
Hector-Reid, Assistant Director of Food and Nutrition Services
presented a workshop on
the importance of nutrition.
Dr. Reid, who also serves
as an assistant professor, LEFT: EMT workers show students the outside of an ambulance.
discussed the harm- RIGHT: Assignment Judge Patricia Costello speaks to students for career day.
ful effects of a nutri-
tionally deficient diet.
She provided students with
peanut butter, carrots and stories of Convictions
oranges as an alternative to
Dr. Cynthia Paige speaks with students
potato chips and cookies. man Gets 50 years for Cop Shooting
about healthcare. Dr. Cynthia Paige, a fam- Omar Bridges, a resident of East Orange, was recently
ily practitioner, discussed sentenced to 50 years in prison for shooting Newark
acupuncture with the students. Dr. Rufus Caine delivered Police Officer Eduardo Patinho in the face three years ago.
a presentation about the significance of oral care and hy- During a routine patrol on October 9, 2004, Officer Patinho and his
giene. Students were advised to brush their teeth daily and partner observed a gunman shooting from the passenger side
limit sugary snacks that deteriorate teeth. Clinton Dozier, of a Jaguar at another vehicle. Officer Patinho and Officer
Director of Pre-college Education and Associate Profes- Kimberly Gasavage chased the luxury car, which reached an
sor, discussed the various career opportunities in healthcare. excessive speed of 90 miles per hour and hit a subway track.
He read an original poem, entitled, “The Choice is Mine” Officer Patinho jumped out of his police cruiser and ordered the
which resonated with everyone in the room. Students were occupants of the Jaguar to get out of the car. Instead of
introduced to a surgeon, emergency room doctor, nurse, complying, a gunfight broke out and Officer Patinho was
sergeant and hospital attorney. shot in the face.
This was the second part in the career symposium for the Following the shooting, Officer Patinho required 13 surger-
students. The first career day was held on February 8, 2007, ies to rebuild his shattered jaw. Bridges was convicted by a
when students spent the day at the Essex County Prosecutor’s jury of attempted murder, aggravated assault and weapons
Office. They met Prosecutor Paula Dow, Essex County offenses. He was also convicted for the separate indictment
Executive Joe Divencenzo, Jr., Essex County Sheriff Armando of being an ex-offender with weapons. Officer Patinho was
Fontoura, and Assignment Judge Patricia Costello. Students later promoted to detective and was cited for bravery at a
received an overview of the judicial system. They toured The ceremony by former Newark Mayor, Sharpe James.
Veterans Courthouse, The Historic Courthouse and The Family
Court in the Wilentz Building. Students also met Judge James
Troiano, Judge Torkwase Sehou and Andrea Johnson, Deputy man Gets 20 years for murder
Chief Assistant Prosecutor (DCAP). DCAP Johnson is in charge
of the Juvenile Unit at ECPO. Seven years ago, Douglas Manning, broke into a woman’s
home in Maplewood where he sexually assaulted her and
Project I.C.A.N. (I Can Achieve Now) is an initiative ECPO later stabbed her to death. Forensic evidence linked him to
has with the Newark Public Schools to introduce grammar the crime. In April 2007, the defendant was recently sen-
school students to career choices. This program is designed to tenced to 20 years in prison for committing these horrific
discourage children ages 9 through 11 from using drugs and acts. “This sentencing marks another case solved through
becoming involved with gangs. “There are many crime the wonders of forensic evidence,” said Prosecutor Paula
preventative programs for pre-teens and adolescents. Let’s T. Dow. In 2002, Manning was convicted of burglary, ag-
not wait for a child to become a statistic. The purpose of the gravated assault, sexual assault and weapons offenses
Project I.C.A.N. is to offer students a positive and hands on for a separate crime involving a young woman. His DNA
exposure to government,” said Gwendolyn Williams, Assistant from that case provided a match which resulted in the
Prosecutor Director of the Community Justice Unit. guilty plea in the Maplewood assault.
The essex observer • 5
ance laws. Habib enjoys participating Office, Lugo served as a social worker are always helpful,” said Peterson. She
in outdoor activities in her spare time. with the Essex County Division of enjoys spending time with her husband
Welfare. Lugo approved clients for and cooking.
KImBERly JoNES government benefits and translated for
“As a new employee Spanish-speaking clients. BRIAN PollACK
on board with the Essex A graduate of Berkeley College, Lugo, Brian Pollack, a Bronx,
County Prosecutor’s said she is glad to be a member of the New York native re-
Office, I bring a will- Essex County Prosecutor’s Office. “It’s cently joined the Es-
ingness to learn, en- a great honor to be a part of the team. I sex County Prose-
thusiasm and a good work ethic that’s make a difference in the lives of individuals cutor’s office as an
essential to fulfill the tasks that are who’ve been victimized,” added Lugo. assistant prosecutor. Previously, Pollack
required of me,” said Kimberly Jones, Lugo has aspirations to attend law school was employed as an assistant district
clerk within the PTI/Expungement and looks forward to one day working as attorney in the Bronx District Attorney’s
unit. Jones worked as a clerk with the an assistant prosecutor in the office. office. During the beginning of his five
YMCA of Eastern Union County for year career with the Bronx District
nearly four years prior to joining the BRANDoN mElVIN Attorney office, Pollack handled up to
prosecutor’s office. 150 criminal cases at a time. He was
Brandon Melvin recent-
in charge of the cases from inception
She is currently completing her final ly graduated from The
to disposition. He conducted over 50
semester at Rutgers University and would College of New Jersey.
suppression hearings that required both
like to attend law school and eventually He now works in the
direct and cross examinations.
become an attorney within the Essex clerical department of
County Prosecutor’s Office. “It’s been the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office. Pollack was later promoted to the grand
a pleasure working in the prosecutor’s Melvin believes that his fresh perspective jury bureau, where he investigated and
office. The staff is very friendly and the and willingness to learn are attributes that presented cases in an effort to obtain
office provides me with a lot of learning he brings to the position. “I’m excited by indictments. Among the cases he
experiences,” continued Jones. Jones’ the opportunities that the prosecutor’s presented were stolen cars, gunpoint
responsibilities include data entry, pre- office presents and the unique experience robberies, attempted murders and gun
paring epungement orders and process- it offers to those who wish to learn about possession.
ing pre-trial intervention applications. She the day-to-day functioning of the criminal
Pollack, who also worked in the ap-
enjoys reading, traveling and shopping. justice system,” said Melvin. His long term
peals unit, believes that his varied
goals include attending law school and
GRACE lEE courtroom experience, oral advo-
pursuing a career in criminal law. Melvin
cacy and writing skills are strengths
Grace Lee was re- enjoys playing basketball and chess in
that he brings to the prosecutor’s of-
cently appointed assis- his spare time.
fice. Pollack looks forward to hav-
tant prosecutor in the ing a long career within ECPO. “I am
Official Corruption and mIRA oHm
elated to be here. The Essex County
Economic Crimes unit. Mira Ohm follows Su- Prosecutor’s office presents challenges
“I’m incredibly thrilled about investigating preme Court debates that you can’t find in other places,” he
and prosecuting white collar crimes,” said and decisions in her continued. Pollack is a football enthusiast
Lee. Lee worked in the New York District spare time. What else and occasional chef. He and his wife
Attorney’s Office for nearly seven years. would you expect are expecting their first child in July.
She was assigned to the trial division, from a newly hired assistant prosecu-
where she handled felonies from intake tor? Ohm is a graduate of Rutgers Law RoBERT PRACHAR
up to trial. School and served as a law clerk in the
Robert Prachar re-
Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Of-
“I’m excited to be working in the county cently became a detec-
fice. She’s excited about her position
where I live,” said Lee. A Chicago native, tive within the Essex
with the Essex County Prosecutor’s Of-
Lee moved to the east coast to attend County Prosecutor’s Of-
fice and looks forward to a long career as
Brown University in Rhode Island. She fice He began his law
later graduated from Boston University enforcement career 14 years ago with the
Law School and the rest is history! Lee REBECCA PETERSoN Newark Police Department. Throughout
enjoys spending time with her husband the course of his career, Detective
and two daughters; ages six and three. Rebecca Peterson was Prachar worked patrol in all of the districts.
recently hired as an As a member of the neighborhood
NATACHA lUGo assistant prosecutor stabilization unit, he patrolled high crime
within the juvenile unit areas within public housing complexes.
“Advocating on the be-
of the Essex County Detective Prachar was also a member
half of crime victims
Prosecutor’s Office. Peterson recently of the Safe City Task Force officers, a
and witnesses is very
relocated from Chapel Hill, North unit designed to target high crime areas
important to me,” said
Carolina to New Jersey two years ago. fueled with drugs, gangs and violence.
Natacha Lugo, Advo-
She enjoys working in the Essex County Prior to leaving the Newark Police
cate for Victims and Witnesses in the
Prosecutor’s Office. “I love the fast paced Department, Detective Prachar served
Office of Victims-Witness Advocacy. Prior
learning environment and the people as a detective within the fugitive appre-
to joining the Essex County Prosecutor’s
(continued on page 7)
6 • The essex observer
hension unit. The unit was responsible for School graduate enjoys running in her Doris Stoeckel
locating and arresting individuals who spare time.
were wanted for indictable offenses. Receives Essex County
A self described team player, Detective NIColE Teamwork Award
Prachar, believes that his great GRAVES-WATSoN
communication skills and determination Nicole Graves-Watson Doris Stoeckel,
are strengths that he brings to the was recently appoint- an employee with
prosecutor’s office. Detective Prachar’s ed community justice the Essex County
goal is to excel in rank within the coordinator for the Prosecutor’s Office
prosecutor’s office and pursue a degree Essex County Prose- for the past 24
in Criminal Justice. He enjoys traveling, cutor’s Office. In this position, Nicole is years recently re-
camping, fishing, boating and biking. responsible for writing and editing The ceived the Essex
Essex Observer newsletter. Nicole also County Teamwork
CISSy m. REBICH works with various law enforcement or- Award. Stoeckel
Cissy M. Rebich was ganizations, governmental agencies, is the Vehicle Fire Case Specialist in
an actor on Broadway businesses, schools, community-based the Arson Unit. She is responsible for
and a classical singer and faith-based institutions to facilitate coordinating with a grant funded program
for many years. She change in the perception of law enforce- to combat insurance fraud involving
recently joined the ment. “I’m excited about my position and vehicle arson.
Essex County Prosecutor’s Office as an look forward to a rewarding career within
ECPO,” said Nicole. “I am very happy to be nominated for
assistant prosecutor. While performing this award. I work with a great team
in Les Miserables, she attended Seton Nicole served as a case supervisor with in the Arson Unit and thank them for
Hall School of Law and joined the Morris Court Appointed Special Advocates the nomination,” said Stoeckel. She
County Prosecutor’s Office as an since 2004. Prior to that, Nicole was enjoys spending time with her seven
assistant prosecutor after graduation. employed as a caseworker with the grandchildren, reading and gardening.
Rebich also practiced civil law as an Division of Youth & Family Services.
associate at the law firm of Podvey, Nicole also has strong roots in journalism. Previous winners of the Essex County
Meanor in Newark. She’s written for The Star-Ledger, Teamwork Award are Cindy Hamilton,
Black Enterprise Magazine, The Daily Lisa Fonseca, Lorraine DeGardnuer,
RANDolPH RooT Challenge Newspaper, Fashion Market Halimah Harris, Rosemary Facchino
Randolph Root recently Magazine, The Source Magazine and and Detective Arnold Anderson.
joined the Essex Coun- Bridge News Wire Service.
ty Prosecutor’s Office
Nicole is a graduate of William Paterson
Calling All Interns…
as a detective in the
University. Among her many accom-
juvenile trial division. The Essex County Prosecutor’s Of-
plishments, in 1998, she was awarded
“I’m very elated to be a part of the fice is gearing up for our annual five
Third Place Winner for Best Feature
chief law enforcement agency in week summer internship program.
Article presented by the New York
Essex County,” he declared. Detec- Each year, thirty high school juniors
Association of Black Journalists. Nicole
tive Root previously worked as a from Essex County participate in the
enjoys spending time with her three year-
sheriff officer with the Essex County program, which provides positive
old daughter and husband.
Sheriff’s Department. Detective Root par- hands on exposure to law enforce-
ticipates in various volunteer activities ment and the judicial system. Interns
including the Belleville Elks, which learn about the role and function of
works on the behalf of disabled the Essex County Prosecutor’s office,
children and the Veteran’s of Foreign Farewell to our Retirees participate in a one week residential
War Post 493 in Nutley. training program with the New Jersey
Cheryl Contreras, Detective State Troopers, attend cultural events
SIlVINA TRABA and participate in a mock trial.
Newly-wed Silvina Patrick De Francisci, Captain
The summer internship runs from June
Traba was previously
27 through August 3. Applications for
employed as a law Grace Esposito, Director Assistant Prosecutor next year’s internship program will be
clerk to Judge Scott
available beginning January 2008. For
Moynihan in Union Joan Love, Assistant Prosecutor further details, contact:
County. She is now an assistant pros-
ecutor within the juvenile division Gwendolyn Williams,
Herbert Pendleton, Detective
of the Essex County Prosecutor’s Director Assistant Prosecutor at
Office. Traba enjoys her job and (973) 621-4029 or
would like to have a long career in Daniel Pope, Detective
Community Justice Coordinator,
the prosecutor’s office. Traba feels Nicole Graves-Watson at
that her strong work ethic and Charles Williams, Lieutenant
good communication skills are as-
sets to the office. The Seton Hall Law Carol Fitzgibbon, Director Assistant Prosecutor
The essex observer • 7
Focusing on Local Police
Belleville Police ment received tactical training from the the necessary equipment. “None of the
New York Police Department, studied police departments in Essex County
Responds to information from the National Tactical Of- have the necessary first response
School Violence ficers Association and modified it to suit equipment. This is a homeland security
Essex County needs. Lieutenant Victor issue and hopefully we’ll see funding very
School shootings are no longer con- Mesci was instrumental in developing first soon,” continued Lieutenant Mesci.
strained to a scenario in a fiction- response training to respond to an active
alized Hollywood action film. Un- school shooting. Last February, the Belleville Police De-
fortunately, school shootings have partment provided the first response
become common in today’s society. The Traditionally, first response police would training to its neighboring police depart-
Columbine High School massacre in 1999, surround the outside of the school ments. “We want all of the police depart-
where two students randomly shot and until the SWAT team arrived. “After careful ments in Essex County to undergo the
killed students and faculty in Columbine, research, it became evident that the old training,” said Lieutenant Mesci.
Colorado sparked a rash of school way of responding to this type of crisis is
shootings in this country. More recently, a not efficient,” said Lieutenant Mesci. The
mentally unstable student shot and killed new training offers ways to enter a school
32 students and faculty at Virginia Tech in and encounter the active gunman in a
Clarksburg, West Virginia. hallway, classroom and stairway. First
responders are required to have
The Belleville Police Department took breaching tools, which would be used
recent incidents of school violence as to open locked doors. Ceramic plates
a warning to prepare themselves for would cover officer’s vests to protect
a school shooting. “We felt if it (school them from injury. Ballistic shields and
shootings) could happen there, it helmets are also needed for safety.
Belleville police officers Michael Greisi, Charles
could happen here,” said Chief of Essex County Chiefs of Police are Mollineaux, Joseph Sente and John McAloon
Police Joseph Rotonda. The depart- urging lawmakers to provide funding for simulate a school shooting.