Middlesex County Public Safety Leadership!
Middlesex County hosts 2024 Municipal Leadership Forum to address public safety concerns

Middlesex County Public Safety Leadership!


Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin and County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone led the roundtable discussion


Middlesex County, in partnership with the Middlesex County Office of the Prosecutor and Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin, hosted its annual Municipal Leadership Forum on Tuesday, March 19 at the Middlesex County Magnet School, East Brunswick. The forum provided a platform for Mayors, Chiefs of Police, and other community leaders to engage in crucial discussions regarding public safety challenges and to explore effective strategies for enhancing community well-being.

Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin and County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone led the roundtable discussion, which focused on pressing issues such as bail reform, social justice, juvenile justice, behavioral health, gun violence, and other aspects of public safety. The event aimed to foster collaboration and knowledge sharing among local stakeholders to better address the evolving needs of Middlesex County’s diverse communities.

Perth Amboy Mayor Helmin J. Caba; Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin and Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone.

“We are committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of all residents in Middlesex County,” said Middlesex County Commissioner Director Ronald G. Rios. “This forum served as a vital platform for proactive dialogue and collaboration to ensure we’re addressing solutions to relevant issues facing our community. On behalf of the Middlesex County Board of County Commissioners, I would like to extend our gratitude to Prosecutor Ciccone for her tireless efforts in creating a safer and more inclusive Middlesex County.”

“It is important that we continue to address public safety challenges and have tough conversations to ensure the needs of our residents are met. By working together, we can implement effective strategies to enhance public safety and to build stronger, more resilient communities,” said Middlesex County Commissioner Deputy Director Shanti Narra.

Since the pandemic, the numbers of burglaries and cases of theft have been at the forefront of concerns for law enforcement and residents. To combat this, specifically auto and home burglaries, the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, in partnership with the Board of County Commissioners, have to date deployed over 67 Automated License Plate Recognition (ALPR) systems — camera systems that scan images of license plates, allowing law enforcement to identify and compare plates against those of cars driven by people suspected of being involved in illegal activities — throughout the County. The Prosecutor’s Office, with the support of the Board of County Commissioners and partners across all levels of government, is committed to deploying additional ALPR systems, as well as surveillance cameras, in strategic locations throughout the County, to further strengthen the Office’s ability to prosecute these crimes. The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office also serves as a member of the New Jersey State Police Automobile Theft Task force, in an effort to coordinate efforts statewide. These are just some of the many strategies being implemented to keep neighborhoods safe.

“Through strategic partnerships and innovative initiatives, we are dedicated to addressing the root causes of crime and promoting a safer environment for all,” said Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone. “The Middlesex County Municipal Leadership Forum not only allowed us to tackle complex issues, but it provided a platform for everyone to have an input on what proactive solutions that would benefit all residents. The ALPR systems, for example, are a testament to our commitment to utilizing cutting-edge technology to abate crime and keep our communities safe.”

“Public safety priorities such as combating auto theft and burglaries can be achieved most effectively when we work together,” said Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin. “Collaborating at a local level is vital to addressing the specific concerns and needs of the 25 municipalities in Middlesex County and the nearly 540 other cities and towns that make up New Jersey. I thank the Board of County Commissioners, Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone, and the Mayors and their Chiefs of Police for the meaningful exchanges at our roundtable meeting and their year-round partnership and dedication.”

Since assuming office in June 2020 as the first female prosecutor in the County’s history, Prosecutor Ciccone has spearheaded several lifesaving community programs. These include Blue Cares, a 24/7 addiction support hotline; Safe Place, designated community safe havens for anyone experiencing a bias crime, discrimination, or harassment; Alternative Responses to Reduce Instances of Violence and Escalation (ARRIVE) to respond to psychiatric crisis, 911 calls; Special Needs Registry (SNR), to enhance emergency response and better assist individuals facing challenges in emergency or police encounters; Mental Health Diversion Program (MHDP), for individuals with serious and persistent mental illness where there is a causal link between the defendant’s criminal conduct and their diagnosis; Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD), which allows law enforcement officers to redirect low-level offenders motivated by substance use, mental health, and/or poverty to community-based services, instead of jail and prosecution; and the Veterans Diversion Program (VDP), through which any active and former military service member who is charged with third or fourth degree crimes, and who is suffering from a mental condition, may be eligible for diversion to mental health and rehabilitative treatment, rather than face traditional criminal prosecution. These initiatives aim to address various aspects of public safety and provide support to individuals facing challenges in emergency situations.

Moreover, Middlesex County’s Services Locator, a comprehensive database of services and Behavioral Health Navigators were mentioned as ways to assist residents in crisis or in need.

To learn more about the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office and their ongoing public safety initiatives, please visit middlesexcountynj.gov/prosecutor. And visit middlesexcountynj.gov/services for assistance on a range of topics. 



Middlesex County is home to numerous Fortune 500 companies, three universities, 19 park systems, and world-class healthcare and research facilities making it one of the nation’s most dynamic regions and a leader in technology, transportation, the arts, and food innovation. As one of the most diverse populations in the country, Middlesex County is home to over 860,000 residents living throughout 25 municipalities. The County’s award-winning Middlesex County Magnet Schools system and two-year Middlesex College uphold its position as #1 in the state for best schools, offering secondary and postsecondary education and workforce development programs that create a unique ecosystem where opportunities abound. Conveniently located between New York and Philadelphia, Middlesex County is a leading destination for businesses and residents alike to live, work, and play – and has been since the 17th century. For more information, visit middlesexcountynj.gov and find us on FacebookInstagram, and LinkedIn. 

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