UCPO’s new leadership team and the people of the UCPO are committed to strengthening the Office’s relationship with the Union County community. Acting Prosecutor Ruotolo was recently asked to speak to members of the law enforcement community at a 21st Century Policing Conference alongside Attorney General Grewal and Essex County Prosecutor Stephens. At the conference, she described her new leadership team’s philosophy about the importance of community outreach as follows:
“For the past several months I have had the privilege to serve my county as its acting Prosecutor. And from day one building strong relationships between the community and law enforcement has been a priority of my administration, because getting that right is what enables us to better do our job of protecting, serving, and doing justice. Because in order to protect the community, one must have the trust of the community, and in order for the community to trust us – they need to know us.
Building strong community ties requires implementing initiatives that produce results, making connections with stakeholders, meeting the needs of the community – not by assuming you know what those needs are – but rather by listening to the community to properly identify the needs to be met, it means better training and safety support for our officers, it requires many different things for different communities – but at its core building strong community ties starts with a mindset. UCPO Chief of Detectives Trish Gusmano, a woman with nearly 30 years on the job, describes the requisite mindset best: It takes remembering that when you take the oath to protect and serve the community, you do not suddenly cease to be a part of the community.
Building strong community ties requires remaining a part of the community you serve and treating everyone you encounter through your work as a friend, neighbor, or loved one, as though the people you meet in your work may not be those people to you, they surely are to someone else in our community.”
Thank you for visiting UCPO’s outreach page, and for your interest in our outreach efforts – some of which are detailed here.