The Union County Prosecutor’s Office
32 Rahway Avenue   Elizabeth, NJ 07202
Theodore J. Romankow, Prosecutor

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 22, 2010

Contact: John Holl
(908) 527-4621 jholl@ucnj.org

Union County Results of the Attorney General’s SWEEP Initiative

Union County Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow and Union County Sheriff Ralph Froehlich and the police chiefs from various municipal police departments in Union County announce the results of the Attorney General’s SWEEP Initiative. The mandated program’s sole purpose was to arrest people with outstanding warrants, including fugitives and those who skipped parole appointments. The program was a success on a state level and in Union County the results were no different.

In less than eight weeks, 125 individuals were arrested with 46 of them having a violent crime as the purpose of their warrant and/or have a violent past criminal history. The percentage of violent criminals arrested rose to a final 36.8% as the program continued throughout July and August, with such crimes as sexual assault, armed robbery, rape, and weapons possession being the most common charges. It is very important that we expend our resources to apprehend these violators, because we believe many of them are repeat offenders committing some of our most violent crimes, said Prosecutor Romankow.

Each day, six to eight officers went on patrol in almost every municipality looking for these criminals who inconspicuously blended in with society. “Because our time was so limited, we doubled our efforts in an attempt to take these law breakers off the street,” said Union County Prosecutor Sergeant James Weinberg, who, along with Sergeant Darryl Warner of the Sheriff’s Office were the on-site supervisors for the program. “The results we were able to accomplish in such a short period of time speaks volumes regarding law enforcement in this county.”

Union County’s participation was broken up into two parts. The first centered on probation violators and the second focused on State Parole violators. During the initiative, the Regional Operational Intelligence Center (ROIC) provided a list of the Most Wanted State Parole Violators within Union County. For the final two weeks of the program, the efforts of the Prosecutor’s Office and Sheriff’s Office, now joining forces with the State Parole Office, were concentrated on arresting as many of those individuals as possible from that listing, and in the end, the results spoke for themselves with an 85% captured rate, added Romankow.

The program was so beneficial, that it actually led to additional arrests of individuals that were not originally sought. In one instance, officers on the road were attempting to locate one parole violator and came upon an individual who lived in the same apartment and was found to be in possession of a loaded 9mm handgun and hollow point bullets and was subsequently charged with six counts of possession of a weapon and possession of Body Armor Penetrating Bullets. In addition, it was later learned that the individual arrested was a verified gang member.

Prosecutor Romankow commended members of his staff, the Union County Sheriff’s Department, the State Parole Board, the State Probation Services Division, the U.S. Marshal Service and several local police departments throughout Union County for their assistance in this important program.