Two Bergen County Plaza
Hackensack, NJ 07601
Mon-Fri: (201) 646-2300
After Hours: (201)-642-5962

Bergen County Prosecutor

HONOR, INTEGRITY & RESPECT

Hackensack, NJ

Welcome to
the Bergen County
Prosecutor`s Office

The Bergen County Prosecutor is the chief law enforcement officer for the County of Bergen. As a constitutional officer charged with the broad obligation "to use all reasonable and lawful diligence for the detection, arrest, indictment and conviction of offenders against the laws," the Prosecutor has wide-ranging authority over the law enforcement community in the county. With that authority come tremendous responsibilities and obligations, both to the law enforcement community itself and to all the citizens of Bergen county.

Our Mission:

The mission of the Bergen County Prosecutor`s Office is to commit its resources, in partnership with the law enforcement community and citizens of Bergen County, to promote a safe and secure environment for the residents of Bergen County while maintaining the highest law enforcement standards. The members of this office will effectively and efficiently investigate and prosecute criminal offenders, fairly, impartially and justly. We will ensure and respect the rights of individual victims of crime. In addition to conducting its own proactive investigations, the Bergen County Prosecutor`s Office maintains specialized squads that are available to assist the municipal departments in the investigation of crimes calling for increased personnel, specialized equipment, technical know-how or highly specialized training. Such crimes include arson, homicide, sex crimes, drug trafficking, traditional organized crime, domestic violence, insurance fraud and most recently, computer crimes. These squads give each municipality the ability to bring additional resources to bear when presented with particularly challenging cases or particularly dangerous offenders.

Educational Presentations

NARCOTICS TASK FORCE PRESENTATION REQUEST

Heroin and Opiate Abuse for Students
Click Here to Request
(Approximately 1 hour)

Thank you for visiting the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Task Force website in reference to our Heroin and Opiate Education Initiative. Requests for this presentation should be limited to 9th grade high school students. Scheduling for this presentation will be on Fridays throughout the school year at either 10am or 1pm. The presentation educates students on the dangers of experimentation with prescription medication, specifically Opiates, and how it corresponds directly with the increase in Heroin use by young people. Presenters will provide first-hand accounts and examples of Heroin-related arrests, overdoses, and deaths throughout Bergen County. Students will leave with a practical, real-world education on the chilling effects Heroin can have on their lives and the importance of good decision-making.


CYBER CRIMES PRESENTATION REQUEST

Presentations provided by the Bergen County Prosecutor`s Cyber Crimes Task Force can be requested by any school system within the county. Please review this page before following the below-listed links to the Cyber Crimes Presentation Request Forms.

Note that there has been an overwhelming demand on the Cyber Crimes Unit for these and other presentations. As such, preference will be given (where noted) to those organizations that conform to the suggested guidelines. The online forms will request contact information from any organization interested in hosting a presentation. The request is then forwarded to members of the Unit for scheduling based on availability of Cyber Crimes Task Force personnel. You may use the notes field at the bottom of the request form to describe any special issues or concerns that you may have for your presentation; it can also be used to describe your student body or school system if we should know something in particular about your school community.


Internet Safety for Educators
Click Here to Request

(Approximately 1.5+ hours)

Preference is given to those organizations that arrange this presentation on a regional basis. Please consider this option before submitting the Presentation Request Form.

This presentation is molded similarly to the parent presentation, with special emphasis for those subtopics of particular interest to the educator responsible for children in a school setting. Please refer to the description below for more details.


Internet Safety for Students
Click Here to Request
(Approximately 50 minutes - 1 hour)

Requests for this presentation should be limited to students of middle school age. The presentation that the Cyber Crimes Unit delivers is age-appropriate for 7th grade and is most effectively delivered in that arena. Requests for this presentation should be limited to 7th grade only.

The Internet Safety presentation for Students from the Bergen County Cyber Crimes Task Force typically lasts about 1 hour. This program is a dynamic, entertaining, and informative 360-degree discussion about Internet Safety (general), information control, social networking mistakes, sexting, and cyberbullying. Experience has taught us that getting the students into the auditorium, seated and ready can often delay the start of the presentation. A few minutes should be allowed for this and/or questions by students at the end (if applicable), which could prolong the total length of the presentation. Also, if a school administrator plans to make opening/closing remarks, please calculate this into the start/end times accordingly. Presentation talk-time with full PowerPoint, entertaining video clips, etc. will consist of probably 50 solid minutes. Feedback has consistently indicated that the 50 minutes are well spent, and contain useful educational, entertaining and interesting content.


Internet Safety for Parents
Click Here to Request

(Approximately 1.5+ hours)

Requests for this presentation should be made on a regional basis with a minimum of four districts invited. You should coordinate with the other districts before submitting the Presentation Request and discuss dates that are pre-approved by all involved districts. In the event that you are submitting a request for an individual organization or district, you will be asked to coordinate with other districts and resubmit your request. Parents from all elementary, middle, and high schools (both public and private) must be invited to attend. Please ensure compliance with these guidelines before submitting the Presentation Request Form.

Please note that you must complete all fields on the form or your request will not be processed. Once the Presentation Request Form is received, your presentation will be scheduled accordingly to the availabality of personnel. If your presentation is selected for scheduling you will be notified. 

The Internet Safety Presentation for Parents from the Bergen County Cyber Crimes Task Force typically lasts about 1.5 hours. The program is basically a 360-degree examination of current issues affecting pre-teens and teenagers on the Internet. It is a detailed conversation about the serious issues online and the concepts for dealing with them. During the presentation, we will briefly address sexual predators online and then focus on social networking, responsible use by teenagers, as well as sexting, cyberbullying, general solutions, and best practices.


FATAL ACCIDENT INVESTIGATION UNIT PRESENTATION REQUEST

DWI/Distracted Driving and Serious Motor Vehicle Collisions for High School Students
Click Here to Request

(Approximately 45 minutes - can be modified based on time constraints)

This presentation often coincides with prom season and graduation season for High School Juniors and Seniors. It is typically presented to the 11th and/or 12th grade(s), but schools may include students as young as 9th grade if they so choose. The presentation is not appropriate for students 8th grade or younger. The presentation educates students on the dangers of drinking and driving, hosting parties where alcohol is served/present, texting while driving, and the consequences following collisions resulting from DWI, reckless driving, cell phone use, and more. Presenters incorporate first-hand experience in cases involving teen drunk driving, distracted driving and fatal accidents. The host agency/school should choose between two themes for the presentation; DWI or Cell Phone Use Behind the Wheel. Depending on the theme of the presentation, two videos are available which may be incorporated. Both videos are approximately 22 minutes long, and will be followed by a lecture/Q&A session designed to fit within the allotted time frame. Regardless of the host’s choice of the primary theme, both topics will be touched upon during the lecture. The DWI video was produced by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, and depicts a fictional yet typical case of teen drunk driving resulting in a fatal accident. The cell phone themed video was produced collaboratively by the top four major cellular telephone companies as a PSA, and it tells the stories of drivers and victims involved in serious motor vehicle accidents caused by distracted drivers


Required by Host Organization for any of the Presentations
Please be advised that your organization is required to supply the following at your venue:

  • Microphone w/voice amplification system
  • Laptop computer with Windows O/S, Microsoft Powerpoint and available USB
  • Wireless Presentation Remote Control (for PowerPoint)
  • Standard computer speakers
  • LCD/LDP projector (PowerPoint capable)
  • LARGE display area to offer a clear view to all present (i.e. Screen)
  • Surge Protector/Power Strip
  • Copies of the Internet Safety Handout for all attendees (if applicable)

* Visit www.iSafe.org for valuable information on educating students about Internet safety!*

In-Service Trainings

BERGEN COUNTY PROSECUTOR`S OFFICE IN-SERVICE TRAINING

MISSION: The Bergen County Prosecutor`s Office will provide an array of In-Service training programs geared toward the professional development of sworn Law Enforcement personnel.
PROGRAM: To incorporate the latest criminal investigation techniques and information, thereby enhancing the effectiveness and professionalism of the law enforcement community.
TIME: From 9:00am-4:00pm unless indicated otherwise.
LOCATION: Within the Paramus, New Jersey facility and the Paramus Life Safety complex, unless indicated otherwise. Directions are available upon request.
DRESS CODE: Proper Business attire.

Click Here To Register

Internal Affairs

CONFIDENTIAL INVESTIGATIONS UNIT

ANNUAL REPORT- 2016

Preamble

The Confidential Investigations Unit (“the Unit”) of the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office was initially established in 1998.  Since its inception, the Unit has undergone changes both in staffing and philosophy.  Under the direct command of Prosecutor Gurbir Grewal, established standards and practices allow a municipal police agency to seek guidance, supervision and support from the Unit so that the individual department can effectively police and discipline its own.  This policy was developed for the express purpose of instilling in the citizenry a confidence that their local police agencies had the ability to act upon a complaint and that intervention from an outside agency was not needed to ensure that a fair result was ultimately achieved.  This is a significant departure from a prior philosophy of involving the Prosecutor's Office in the investigation of matters that were purely administrative in nature.

The primary function of the Confidential Investigations Unit can be set forth in the following manner:

  • Confidential Investigations
  • Background Investigations
  • Citizen Complaints
  • Law Enforcement Executive Investigations

Additionally, the Unit has expanded the scope of its responsibility to include the investigation and prosecution of matters concerning government and public office integrity.


Confidential Investigations

Law enforcement personnel from the Unit are utilized when an allegation is received either via notification from a municipal police agency, citizen complaint or other outside source, that a police officer or other government or public official may be involved in criminal activity. Depending upon the nature of the allegation, the Unit will generally work in conjunction with the local agency to investigate the matter. This is done pursuant to Attorney General Guidelines mandating police departments to notify the County Prosecutor of criminal investigations of law enforcement personnel. In other instances, members of the unit will work alone when the Prosecutor’s Office is the recipient of the allegation of wrongdoing, or if involvement of the outside agency would impede or jeopardize the integrity of the investigation.

During the course of calendar year 2016, the Unit provided guidance, supervision and support to numerous municipal police agencies as well as conducting the Unit's own confidential investigations totaling 36 cases. There are direct results from the assistance provided by the Unit and from the Unit's own confidential investigations, but there are also indirect results such as the deterrent effect that an effective investigation can have on those persons engaged in wrongdoing which may be the result of ignorance, negligence or a deliberate attempt to circumvent the law.

Pursuant to the revised Attorney General Internal Affairs Policy and Procedures, the Confidential Investigations Unit assumed the responsibility for conducting investigations regarding all complaints made against law enforcement executives. During 2016, 15 of the 36 investigations conducted by the Unit were investigations that involved law enforcement executives.

In addition, in order to assure that all personnel assigned to the Unit complete Internal Affairs training mandated by the Attorney General guidelines, Prosecutor Grewal reviewed and authorized the Internal Affairs course sponsored by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office in connection with the Bergen County Division of Law & Public Safety and the Bergen County Chiefs Association. This training is held at the Bergen County Police Academy, and administered by certified instructors with course syllabus and content drawn in accordance with current Attorney General Guidelines, as an acceptable course that satisfies the mandated training requirements for law enforcement officers in Bergen County who are assigned to investigate Internal Affairs matters.


Background Investigations

As with any organization, those persons seeking employment must be effectively screened to ensure their integrity. When seeking employment with a law enforcement agency such as the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office, the process must be a painstaking one so as not only to ensure the applicant's integrity, but to ensure that the integrity of the Office is not compromised. Each individual hired by this Office, be they be an investigator, an assistant prosecutor, or a member of the clerical staff, has an opportunity to interact with the public we serve. These interactions will no doubt influence the public perception of the Office. Accordingly each applicant for a position with the office undergoes investigation concerning their family background, financial dealings, educational and prior employment history as well as a criminal background check. Interviews are conducted with persons having knowledge of the character of the applicant. Each person is drug screened as well utilizing the laboratory of the New Jersey State Police.

Each investigation takes approximately one month to complete. In calendar year 2016, 58 such investigations were conducted. At the conclusion of the investigation, the ranking law enforcement officer in the Unit must sign off and make a recommendation as to the applicant's suitability for employment. The process is then repeated by the Chief of the Unit, the Chief of Detectives, the First Assistant Prosecutor and ultimately, Prosecutor Grewal. This process is designed to permit all persons associated with the background investigation to give the Prosecutor the benefit of their review of the candidate and makes for a sound screening process.


Citizen Complaints

Perhaps the most time consuming, yet important function the Unit serves is the screening and investigation process of complaints received by citizens concerning police or other government and public officials. It is to be considered the most important because members of this office are engaged in direct contact with the citizens we serve. The Office will be judged by the citizenry based upon the professionalism exhibited by our detectives, regardless of the merit of the complaint being investigated. It is at times a terribly difficult balancing act that the detective must perform as their function is twofold: to represent the Office to the citizen in a manner that instills confidence; yet at all times acting in a detached, neutral and impartial manner to the individual who is the subject of the complaint.

During calendar year 2016, the Unit received and formally responded to 293 citizen complaints. The manner of disposition ranged from formal investigations being conducted with sustained findings, through determining charges to be unfounded. The majority of the complaints however were dealt with in the manner discussed in the preamble to this report, that is the matter was referred back to the municipality of origin so that the local police agency was given the opportunity to investigate and where appropriate, discipline its own, thereby instilling in the citizenry a sense of confidence in their police department and the officials who operate it.

CIU Summary Reports

Open Public Records Act

TO: MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC
FROM: ACTING PROSECUTOR DENNIS CALO
RE: PUBLIC ACCESS TO GOVERNMENT RECORDS

Members of the public are hereby advised that the provisions of the New Jersey Open Public Records Act (OPRA), N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1, et seq., allow for public access to government records, but contain certain exceptions. The attached Open Public Records Act Request Form lists many of the exceptions and explains your rights under the law. To obtain government records, please complete the form and submit it in one of the following ways:

Click here for the Request Form

By Mail or Hand Delivery to:
OPRA Records
Bergen County Prosecutor`s Office
Two Bergen County Plaza
Hackensack, NJ 07601-7000

By Email to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
By Fax to: (201) 646-3794

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ADMINISTRATION

The administrative unit of the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office consists of the County Prosecutor, First Assistant Prosecutor, Chief of Detectives and the Office Manager. Each member is charged with the daily oversight of the office and its many functions.

 
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VICTIM SERVICES

The Bergen County Office of Victim-Witness Advocacy has provided services to thousands of crime victims and witnesses throughout the county.  We are here to support you and ensure your rights as a crime victim are being respected.

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OUTREACH

With a key focus on high risk behaviors, gangs, and violence, the Bergen County Prosecutor`s Office is dedicated to implementing awareness, prevention education programs and intervention strategies on violence, gangs, victim impact, bullying, alcohol, drugs and Internet Safety.

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