Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon on Tuesday honored all 16 Morris County Correctional Facility Corporals for serving as the backbone of the facility on training and mentoring new Officers early in their careers.
The 77th Sheriff of Morris County, Sheriff Gannon told the Corporals that he was generally familiar with the Correctional Facility operations while working as a Boonton and Boonton Township Police Officer and then as a detective and Deputy Chief of Investigations for the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office.
But, he said, he hadn’t the first-hand knowledge of the quality of the Correctional Facility until he was sworn in as Morris County Sheriff in January 2017.
“Getting into this Agency, I’ve seen tremendous work by the men and women of the Sheriff’s Office. It all starts in the Bureau of Corrections, which is second to none. Stand tall. It’s because of you that we’re there right now,” Sheriff Gannon said.
The Sheriff noted how he is rankled by suggestions and outright outcries across the country to “defund police” in favor of investing more money on youth programs and social service programs for the homeless and impoverished and people with substance use and mental health disorders.
Programs to assist and uplift people from lives that can lead to crime are exactly what the Morris County Sheriff’s Office has been focused on for the past 40 months, the Sheriff said.
They include the Hope Wing at the Correctional Facility, involvement in the Police Assisted Addiction & Recovery Initiative (PAARI) and the Morris County Sheriff’s Office Hope One mobile outreach program, whose unveiling of a new vehicle on August 3 was celebrated by New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and other dignitaries.
“We can really stand tall on all those issues,” Sheriff Gannon said.
The Sheriff had intended to honor all the Corporals, who achieved the rank between 2004 and this year, but plans were postponed because of the coronavirus.
The newest Corporal at the facility is Dawn Simpson, a mother and 13-year Corrections Officer who mentors new Officers and serves as a sanitation Officer – particularly urgent since COVID-19 and its potential spread within the Facility threatens the health of Correctional Officers and inmates.
Including Corporal Simpson, the Corporals recognized with plaques by the Sheriff, Bureau of Corrections Undersheriff Alan J. Robinson and Warden Christopher Klein are:
Edwin Santana, a Corporal since Jan. 5, 2004, he is a Detective Corporal in the Internal Affairs Unit;
Jason Babbitt, promoted to rank of Corporal on Jan. 5, 2004, he is assigned to the Correctional Facility mailroom.
Kristin Murphy, promoted to rank of Corporal on May 1, 2009, she is assigned as a detective to the Internal Affairs Unit.
Michael Lundell, promoted to rank of Corporal on May 18, 2009, he is assigned as a detective to the Internal Affairs Unit.
William Smith, promoted to rank of Corporal on December 5, 2014, he is assigned to the records unit.
Rodney Furby, promoted to rank of Corporal on March 13, 2017, he is a training Officer.
William Lanfrank, promoted to rank of Corporal on March 13, 2017, he is assigned to facility sanitation.
William McCool, promoted to rank of Corporal on March 13, 2017, he is assigned to facility security.
Matthew Cilurso, promoted to rank of Corporal on April 23, 2018, he is assigned to the Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team (SERT).
Scott Schraft, promoted to rank of Corporal on July 30, 2018, he is assigned to the transport unit.
Peter Lenahan, promoted to rank of Corporal on July 30, 2018, he is assigned to the transport unit.
Christopher Long, promoted to rank of Corporal on July 30, 2018, he is assigned to the records unit.
James Heery, promoted to rank of Corporal on July 30, 2018, he is assigned to the facility kitchen.
Peter Lohmus, promoted to rank of Corporal on July 30, 2018, he is the facility Quartermaster.
Dwight Brown, promoted to rank of Corporal on July 30, 2018, he is assigned to an inmate housing pod.
Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon on Monday unveiled a new, custom-designed vehicle for his signature Hope One mobile outreach program that will enable the Hope One partners to continue providing critical services to people with substance use and mental health disorders.
Sheriff Gannon was joined beside the Morristown Green in celebrating the acquisition – funded through a $150,000 bipartisan-supported appropriation in the fiscal 2020 state budget – by New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal,state Senator and former Governor Richard Codey, state Senator Anthony M. Bucco, Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp, and other dignitaries and Hope One partners.
“The life-saving work done since April 3, 2017 by all partners in the Morris County Sheriff’s Office Hope One program is a shining and monumental example of how well public-private cooperative alliances can work,” Sheriff Gannon said.
“We are grateful for the generous funding that will keep our Hope One program on the road well into the future. It’s been a cathartic experience, offering stigma-free aid and support to anyone suffering with a substance use or mental health disorder,” Sheriff Gannon said.
Attorney General Grewal, who has made fighting the opioid epidemic a priority, expressed gratitude to the Morris County Sheriff’s Office for its commitment to that effort.
“As we battle a global pandemic, we must not forget our state’s most vulnerable residents, including those suffering from addiction or mental health disorders,” said Attorney General Grewal. “Programs like Hope One ensure that we continue providing essential services to those who need it most.”
Senator Codey, who along with Senator Bucco was instrumental in securing the appropriation, acknowledged the success of Hope One and said: “We need these type of operations.”
Senator Bucco, a Hope One proponent from its start, said: “With this new HOPE ONE unit, Morris County increases the reach and effectiveness of its crucial, life-changing substance abuse treatment and prevention program.”
“The addiction and overdose crisis is running rampant in New Jersey and we have seen a horrible spike since the coronavirus pandemic hit more than four months ago. Overdose deaths have skyrocketed by more than 20 percent and the timing couldn’t be better for the expansion of HOPE ONE’s campaign to save lives and rescue families,” Senator Bucco said.
“Emblazoned with Morris County’s ‘Stigma Free’ logo, this new rig will be on the road bringing its array of services and treatment options to those who need help coping with substance abuse. Trained and certified peer recovery specialists on board will deliver potentially life-saving support and guidance to anyone struggling with abuse, hopefully leading them to the road to recovery and wellness.
“I commend the county’s HOPE ONE initiative and its goal of saving residents from the depths of addiction and despair,” Senator Bucco said.
On behalf of the Morris County Board of Freeholders, Freeholder Tayfun Selen expressed gratitude for the Hope One initiative. He was joined at the ceremony by Freeholders Doug Cabana, John Krickus and Steve Shaw.
“The Sheriff’s Hope One program has successfully reached out to many people in our county who are struggling with substance use and addiction, helping those residents and their families to obtain help, and giving them some hope for a brighter future,” said Freeholder Selen. “They also have connected residents to our mental health community, to help provide them with counseling and programs that can make such a difference in their lives.”
The Morris County Sheriff’s Office Hope One program was the recipient in 2019 of a prestigious public-private cooperation award from the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP).
Sheriff Gannon created the Hope One program within three months of taking office in 2017 by collaborating with Morris County human services leaders, law enforcement officers, treatment experts and people in recovery.
On April 3, 2017, Morris County Sheriff’s Office Corporal Erica Valvano, the Coordinator of Hope One, and a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist and Mental Health advocate embarked on the first of 443 community stops made over the past three years and four months.
The Hope One team made its first stop at the Morristown Green in a former SWAT vehicle that was retrofitted by using $15,000 in drug forfeiture money.
It was stripped of all law enforcement markings, painted purple and white, and emblazoned with the Hope One logo and names of all its partners: Daytop-NJ, the Center for Addiction Recovery, Education & Success (CARES), Prevention Is Key (PIK), the Mental Health Association of Essex and Morris, the Morris County Department of Human Services and Family Promise of Morris County.
The new vehicle is a re-creation by First Priority Group of Budd Lake of a plain Ford Transit commercial van into a welcoming, gradient-painted purple and white, all-wheel drive outreach vehicle.
It bears the hallmark Hope One insignia, the names of the partners, and even includes a retractable canopy and a large, weatherproof monitor on its passenger side that can be used to conduct Narcan trainings outdoors as social distancing is practiced.
The interior – with air conditioning and heat that the original vehicle lacked – contains an operator work station, ample shelving and storage for brochures, toiletries, snacks, donated clothing and other items the Hope One team distributes to clients and visitors.
Stopping for five hours at least twice a week in locations that are known for overdoses, homeless populations, hand-to-hand drug transactions, the Hope One team offers free Narcan training and kits, guidance to substance use and mental health services, and even transportation to detox and rehab facilities.
Its impact has been far-reaching, with the city of Newark and Burlington, Monmouth, Cape May and Atlantic counties creating their own Hope One mobile outreach programs modeled after the Morris County Sheriff’s Office venture.
As of August 3, the Hope One team has made 12,269 community contacts and trained 2,584 people in the use of Narcan. The team has assisted 143 people with accessing mental health services and has helped another 177 people with accessing recovery and rehab programs. Hope One works with a network of 24 service providers and keeps a daily inventory of available rehab and detox beds for its consumers.
Other speakers included Prosecutor Knapp, Sister Marlene of the Sisters of Christian Charity Order in Mendham, Chester Township Police Chief Thomas Williver, president of the Morris County Police Chiefs Association, and Madine Despeine-Udoh, Director of Self-Help, Advocacy and Education for the Mental Health Association of Essex and Morris.
Melody Runyon, associate director of Hope One partner Prevention is Key (PIK), applauded the significance of the state funding and the work of the Hope One teams.
“Today is another landmark day for the Morris County Sheriff’s Hope One Project. Prevention Is Key/CARES is happy for the crew to have this new state of the art vehicle from which they can provide assistance to those who are in need whether it be related to mental health or the disease of addiction,” Associate Director Runyon said.
“Our agency is honored to have been a part of the Hope One project from the early planning days when it was just a noble vision to now with the unveiling of this new vehicle. We look forward to many more people receiving services through this very special project,” she said.
James Curtin, Chief Executive Officer of Hope One partner Daytop-NJ, also praised the innovative work of the team.
“Sheriff Jim Gannon’s vision of smart, proactive and caring outreach towards our most vulnerable citizens, those suffering from substance use disorders and mental health concerns, has taken root throughout Morris County and beyond,” Mr. Curtin said.
“The impact of Hope One as evidenced by providing connections to care, teaching countless how to save lives with Narcan and by being so visible in all local communities, has undoubtedly saved lives. Daytop is a proud partner of Hope One and we look forward to continuing working creatively to help stem the tide that already has begun related to the ongoing pandemic,” Mr. Curtin said.
Morris County Sheriff’s Office Detective Marc Adamsky and his K-9 partner Tim succeeded in getting a suspect to surrender inside a vacant home in Boonton Township after searching for her for nearly six hours with the assistance of township police.
“I commend Detective Adamsky and his partner Tim for their professional and tenacious search that ended in the best way possible – with the suspect’s surrender after commands from the Detective who did not have to release K-9 Tim,” Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon said.
The Morris County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Section is a shared service that provides all 39 Morris County municipalities with expert teams that find missing people of all ages, suspects, narcotics, explosives and indications of arson.
“Our Officers work tirelessly each and every day to help ensure the safety of all of our residents here in Boonton Township. We are extremely fortunate to have such a great working relationship with the Morris County Sheriff’s Office. The Sheriff’s office is truly a first-class organization, and their assistance on July 21st helped ensure a positive and safe resolution to an otherwise very dangerous situation,” Boonton Township Police Chief Michael Danyo said.
Detective Adamsky and K-9 Tim, a 3-year-old Dutch Shepherd, responded to a call for assistance from Boonton Township Police on July 21 at 3:49 a.m. and was at the scene by 4:30 a.m.
Morris County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Section Detectives Mike Carbone and David Marshall, with their respective K-9 partners Loco and Ollie, also responded to assist with the search.
A vehicle pursuit that began in a neighboring municipality had extended into Boonton Township and momentarily ended when the driver of a Jeep carrying three passengers crashed at the intersection of North Main Street and Powerville Road around 3:45 a.m.
A female fled from the Jeep after the non-fatal crash and immediately became the focus of the search to which Detective Adamsky and K-9 Tim were called. Meanwhile, the Jeep that had crashed left the scene and its three occupants were quickly apprehended in Denville Township.
Boonton Township Sgt. Thomas Cacciabeve said the search for the woman – later identified as Sheironda Geffrard, 20, of Orange, N.J. – ended peacefully through a combination of Detective Adamsky and Tim’s doggedness and witness reports.
The Morris County Office of Emergency Management also released a drone to assist in the search.
The K-9 team of Detective Adamsky and Tim searched for the woman from the scene of the crash onto North Main Street and Powerville Road, with the assistance of Detectives Carbone and Marshall. Detective Adamsky and Tim remained in the township while police developed leads and ultimately found the woman at 10:34 a.m. inside a vacant house on North Main Street, about a half-mile from the crash site.
Detective Adamsky gave the woman verbal commands to surrender over his vehicle public address system and warned that K-9 Tim would be released if she did not comply. The suspect obeyed the caution and emerged from the house onto a rear porch where she was arrested. She currently is charged with burglary.
K-9 Tim is certified in both narcotics detection and patrol, which encompasses obedience, tracking, evidence recovery and criminal apprehension.
A criminal complaint is merely an accusation. Despite the accusation, the defendant is presumed innocent unless, or until, they are proven guilty in court.