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     The purpose of P.B.A. Local #108 is to increase the amount of interactivity we have with each other and other locals. The type of employment we all share is unique to our career choices. We aim to improve the working conditions of law enforcement personnel everywhere and strive to foster an atmosphere of growth and prosperity for our brother and sister officers. Only by developing solid relationships and friendships, throughout our own department as well as those that surround us, will the organization ever become even stronger. It is with great pride that we call ourselves officers and union members, for our call to duty is with each other as well as the rest of our communities.

These are general descriptions of the functions of the Union County Sheriff's Office, of which the members of the Policemen's Benevolent Association Local #108 are employed. Below the listing of our various functions is a brief history of Sheriffs, the keeping of the peace, and the enforcement of early laws.

general inquiries can be emailed to njspbalocal108@gmail.com

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COURTS & SECURITY

          Courthouse security staffing is comprised of nearly half of our members. The Sheriff's Officers assigned to the courthouse complex are responsible for screening all who enter the various buildings and are constantly taking proactive steps to spot weapons and items not suited for a safe professional environment. Within the courtrooms, the officers are responsible for both maintaining courtroom security and safely transporting inmates to and from the courts. There are several different types of courts and offices within the complex that include criminal, civil, family, and grand jury proceedings. Our officers are also responsible for the safety of the judges, their staff, and the jurors that are constantly moving throughout the courthouse complex. While their jobs can be tension filled and precarious at times, they take pride in the stellar safety record that they hold. They are the backbone of our department and the first impression the public encounters when interacting within the Union County Courthouse. They are consummate professionals and are truly committed to their tasks.

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EMERGENCY MEDICAL RESPONSE TEAM

          The officers assigned to the Emergency Medical Response Team are certified by the State of New Jersey Department of Health as Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT's). They have all successfully completed the EMT Basic course along with the Healthcare Provider CPR (Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation) certification. They respond to all medical incidents within the Union County Courthouse complex and triage the situation prior to notification of any additional help. If the Sheriff's EMT's deem other medical assistance is needed, they attempt to stabalize the patient(s) prior to the arrival of the Elizabeth Fire Department's EMS. They provide us with emergency medical aid, treatment, and transportation to area hospitals. The Elizabeth Fire Department can also provide first responder and temporaryl medical aid to us until one of their ambulance arrives. Our EMT's are credited with aiding and providing life saving treatment to hundreds of citizens since their inception. They provide an immeasurable service to the Union County Courthouse Complex and the City of Elizabeth.

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DOMESTIC VIOLENCE UNIT
          The Domestic Violence Unit is is responsible for serving all temporary and final restraining orders and related warrants. Every year there are hundreds of orders and warrants issued and served. During the course of executing these orders, there may be a need for the confiscation of weapons that at times include firearms. While this may seem like a daunting task, the unit carries out their responsibilities with safety being paramount. Despite all efforts, this job has inherent risks that cannot be avoided. Several years ago, officers of this unit were involved in a situation that escalated to gunfire and unfortunately both the suspect and one of our officers were injured in the firefight. Our officer thankfully survived a shot to the face and has miraculously returned to duty. The suspect did not survive the wounds he received. While this reminder looms in all our minds, the men and women of this unit continue to do their jobs with exemplary performance.
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IDENTIFICATION BUREAU

          The Identification Bureau has two functions within the Union County Sheriff's Office. The first and paramount responsibility is the identification of all persons that enter the Union County Jail or are scheduled to appear in Superior Court. This is accomplished through fingerprint analysis and classification as well as each person being interviewed, photographed, and identified as a possible security threat through their association with gangs and criminal activity groups. The second responsibility is to process crime scenes within Union County. The members of this bureau are highly trained and some have graduated from a 10 week forensics course with the federal government. These officers use the newest technology to identify and collect possible evidence, identify and document blood spatter patterns, plot projectile trajectory and reconstruction of the scene, DNA collection, fingerprint identification and collection, fire scene evidence documentation and collection, autopsy documentation, and all processing of scenes as dictated by the Union County Prosecutor's Office. These officers are also entrusted to train other police departments in the skills of evidence identification and collection at the Union County Police Academy in Scotch Plains, New Jersey. The men and women of this unit have earned their reputation throughout Union County and continue to excel in their endeavors. 

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SEARCH & RESCUE K-9 UNIT
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MONUMENT HONORING GIT & OTHER CANINES

          The K-9 Search and Rescue Unit was created in 1983 with one tracking dog and has grown to the current level of 12 canines and is also a training facility for other agencies. The unit utilizes German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois, Labrador Retrievers, and Bloodhounds. They can perform various functions in several different specialties as follows:
                                                                                     Patrol
          Searching building for hidden suspects, tracking suspects from the scene of a crime, tracking lost/missing persons, criminal apprehension, or article search for evidence, the officers canine partners are also trained to protect their handler.
                                                                                     Scent
          Detection of narcotics, explosives, cadaver, or accelerants. All officers assigned to the Unit take their partners home with them. The Unit provides 24 hour, 7 days a week coverage to all municipalities within Union County as well as mutual aid to any other canine unit or police department in the State of New Jersey. This unit is credited with thousands of narcotics arrests and millions of dollars in confiscated items. The members of this proud unit also served countless days at ground zero after the towers fell on September 11, 2001. Their dedication and camaraderie serves as a model for us all to follow. 

          The K-9 Search and Rescue Unit is also responsible for the implementation of the Project Lifesaver Program. The Program utilizes a watch sized transmitter worn by an elderly person suffering from Dementia or a young child suffering from Autism that can be tracked by a receiver operated by a member of the unit. The transmitter works on a radio frequency that is always emitting a tractable signal. There is a fee associated with the program for all participants.

          The K-9 Search and Rescue Unit is also a statewide training facility. There are four state certified K-9 trainers in the unit that have assisted in the training and creation of numerous K-9 units throughout the State. Numerous Federal, State, County and Local K-9 Units come to the K-9 training facility in Summit for initial training, re-certification or in-service training on a monthly basis.

          The K-9 Search and Rescue Unit has had the unfortunate incident of one of the K-9’s being shot and killed in the line of duty only days after searching Ground Zero in September of 2001. A memorial stands in Git Anders honor at the entrance to the K-9 Training Facility. The monument also contains the names of other dogs that have proudly served the Union County Sheriff's Office and have passed.

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LEGAL PROCESS

          The members of legal process are responsible for the serving of various types of notices and warrants that are generated as the result of civil proceedings. Civil orders and evictions are not without their complications and dangers. While the officers of this unit conduct themselves with a professional attitude, it does not mean that the citizen served will reciprocate. Unfortunately, even this unit has had occurrences with beligerent and unruly individuals. It takes a certain type of officer to be able to handle the situations they are faced with and avoid serious confrontations. They are applauded for their dedication to civility in the course of their duties.

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SHERIFF'S LABOR ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
          The officers assigned to the Sheriff's Labor Assistance Program (S.L.A.P.) are tasked with the responsibility of maintining watch over men and women who have been placed on this program. If requested and recommended, the courts can assign people to labor that aids the communities of Union County in lieu of incarceration in the Union County Jail. The individuals sentenced to S.L.A.P. are assigned to Sheriff's Officers and they are taken throughout the county and put to work. They can be seen in the county parks or on the roadsides throughout the county. The benefit is two fold, for while they are serving their sentences their labor helps to beautify, clean, and maintain certain aspects of the 21 municipalities within Union County. The officers of this unit can be credited with the daunting task of maintaining the integrity of the work these people perform, while being a visible deterrent to others.
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TRANSPORTATION UNIT

          The core function of this unit is the safe and secure transport of inmates from the Union County Jail to other correctional facilities, hospitals and specialized institutions for medical and/or psychiatric treatment, and municipal courts. They are burdened with the care and responsibility of many different types of county inmates, some of which may be extremely dangerous. Members of this unit have also been utilized, along with local police departments, in various types of raids and during times of civil unrest. The officers that comprise this group are credited with the movement of thousands of inmates year after year and hold an incredible safety record. Their dedication to duty and professional attitude make them an asset to our ranks.

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WARRANT SQUAD

          The warrant squad is responsible for locating and apprehending fugitives with active bench warrants primarily from Union County. These men and women are wanted for many reasons which may include failure to appear in court, violation of probation or parole, jumping bail, violation of temporary or final restraining orders, and other crimes and violations. There are also individuals with criminal warrants from other counties and/or states that are brought to the attention of Union County officials because they may be in the surrounding area. This unit also works together with various local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to accomplish these goals. While the execution of any arrest warrant is an extremely dangerous undertaking, our members take all the precautions possible to ensure that dangerous situations are kept to a minimum. The warrant squad has a long history of successful apprehensions and continues to make the rest of us proud.

Historical origins of Sheriffs and Conservators of the Peace

A conservator of the peace is defined as a public official authorized to conserve and maintain the public peace. Under common law, conservators of the peace included judges, police, sheriffs, and constables.

The king is mentioned as the first. Then come the chancellor, the treasurer, the high steward, the master of the rolls, the chief justice ant the justices of the King’s-bench, all the judges in their several courts, sheriffs, coroners, constables; and some are said to be conservators by tenure, some by prescription, and others by commission.

Sheriffs are, ex officio, conservators of the peace within their respective counties, and it is their duty, as well as that of all constables, coroners, marshals and other peace officers, to prevent every breach of the peace, and to suppress every unlawful assembly, affray or riot which may happen in their presence. As Conservators of the Peace, police have long had the authority to order groups of persons threatening the public peace to disperse, or to arrest without a warrant for a breach of the peace.

It is hereby made the duty of the Police Force at all times of day and night, and the members of such Force are hereby thereunto empowered, to especially preserve the public peace, prevent crime, detect and arrest offenders, suppress riots, mobs and insurrections, disperse unlawful or dangerous assemblages, and assemblages which obstruct the free passage of public streets, sidewalks, parks and places.

Nor is the idea that the police are also peace officers simply a quaint anachronism. In most American jurisdictions, for example, police officers continue to be obligated, by law, to maintain the public peace.

Police officers are not, and have never been, simply enforcers of the criminal law. They wear other hats — importantly, they have long been vested with the responsibility for preserving the public peace. See, e.g., O. Allen, DUTIES AND LIABILITIES OF SHERIFFS 59 (1845) (“As the principal conservator of the peace in his county, and as the calm but irresistible minister of the law, the duty of the Sheriff is no less important than his authority is great”); E. Freund, POLICE POWER § 86, p. 87 (1904) (“The criminal law deals with offenses after they have been committed, the police power aims to prevent them. The activity of the police for the prevention of crime is partly such as needs no special legal authority”).

Under early Saxon law, each county or shire in England was divided into an indefinite number of hundreds, each composing ten groups of ten families governed by a constable with his own court. Each member of the group and subgroup was individually responsible for preserving the peace and apprehending criminals. This is shown in laws recorded by Saxon kings, such as:

Let him who takes a thief, or to whom one taken is given, and he then lets conceals the theft, pay for the thief according to his wer. If he be an ealdorman, let him forfeit his shire, unless the king is willing to be merciful to him.

That a thief shall be pursued.... If there be present need, let it be made known to the hundredman, and let him make it known to the tithingmen; and let all go forth to where God may direct them to go. Let them do justice on the thief, as it was formerly the enactment of Edmund I.

And the man who neglects this, and denies the doom of the hundred, and the same be afterwards proved against him, let him pay to the hundred xxx. pence; and for the second time lx. pence, half to the hundred, half to the lord. If he do so a third time, let him pay half a pound; for the fourth time, let him forfeit all that he owns, and be an outlaw, unless the king allow Him to remain in the country.

In 920 AD, King Edward the Elder set forth that the reeve or gerefa of the shire, a royal official, should hold court each month to try cases of both civil and criminal matters. The modern term “sheriff” originates from the Saxon "shire reeve" and the term gerefa. The shire reeve was the earliest public official charged specifically with keeping the King’s peace.

I will that each reeve have a gemot always once in four weeks, and so do that every man be worthy of folk-right; and that every suit have an end, and a term when it shall be brought forward. If that any one disregard, let him make bot as we before ordained.

The Norman invasion of England eventually disrupted the Saxon hundreds system. Gradually, disregard for collective responsibility in conserving the peace led to relaxed requirements for the King’s subjects to appear at each session of court. The baronage and clergy were no longer required to appear unless specifically required, and persons having matters before the court could have attorneys appear on their behalf. In response to the loss of this collective responsibility, Henry III of England appointed four specific knights in each county deemed responsible for conserving the peace.

The King to Alured de Lincoln, Ivo de Rocheford, John de Strods, and William de Kaymens, of the county of Dorset, greeting: Whereas, in our Parliament lately holden at Oxford, it was ordained, that all excesses, transgressions, and injuries, done in our realm, should be inquired into by four knights of each county, that (the truth thereof being known) those offences might be more easily corrected; which same knights should take their corporal oaths, in the full county court, or (if such county court be not speedily held) before the sheriffs and coroners; as we have enjoined all our sheriffs faithfully to take such inquisition as aforesaid, we command you, by the fealty you owe us, that, having yourselves, first taken the oath beforementioned, by the oaths of good and lawful men of the county aforesaid, by whomsoever and upon whomsoever lately perpetrated; and this as well concerning justices and sheriffs as our bailiffs and other persons whatsoever. And such inquisition, under your own seals, as well as those of the jurors, you shall bring to Westminster, in the octaves of St. Michael, to be delivered by our own hands to our council there. Moreover, we have commanded our sheriff of the aforesaid county, that, having taken your oaths in form aforesaid, he cause good and lawful men, by whom the said inquisition may be best made, to come before you, at such days and places as you may appoint.

The specific term “Conservator of the Peace” came into being upon the codification and expansion of the authority of the office under Henry III’s son, Edward I. Under Edward I, Conservators of the Peace were not only charged with keeping the peace, but where also given the authority to try certain offenses previously heard by the Reeve’s court. These itinerant judges were the earliest historical predecessors to the Justice of the Peace. Conservators of the Peace appointed under Edward I were considered to be in positions of great public trust and social stature.

Edward, Earl of Cornwall, was appointed conservator of the King’s peace for the counties of Middlesex, Essex, Hertford, Cambridge, Huntingdon, Norfolk, Suffolk, Kent, Surrey, Oxford, Bedford, Bucks, Berks, Northhampton, Lincoln, and Rutland; and the various sheriffs, nobles, knights, and other persons in those counties, are commanded to assist the Earl, and those whom he shall depute under him to keep the peace. Rot. Walliæ 10 EDW. I. m. 9.

Richard de Amundeville was in the same year appointed conservator of the peace, together with the sheriff, in the county of Warwick; but the sheriff was to take counsel and direction from Richard de Amundeville as to what he did for the better preservation of the peace. Rot. Pat. 10 EDW. I. m. 8.

Besides the above exalted personages, others were commissioned in the same year to go into counties, for the purpose of making inquiries concerning those who were indicted for infractions of the peace, and other offences, and of apprehending all those found guilty, and delivering them to the sheriff, to be kept in ward until the King should further direct. Rot. Pat. 10 EDW. I. m. 8.

Immediately after the death of Edward I and the accession of Edward II of England in 1307, officers were appointed in every county in England as Conservators of the Peace. Their commissions stated that they shall constantly reside within their respective counties, visit every place therein and the King’s laws shall be strictly observed. If any disturbances occur, the Conservators are to raise the posse comitatus, arrest the offenders and keep them in custody until the King shall further direct.

Edward III strengthened the office and authority of the Conservator of the Peace, but not necessarily for any altruistic interest in maintaining the public peace.

In the reign of Edward III, an act of parliament ordained “that in every shire of the realm good men and lawful which were no maintainers of evil nor barrators in the county, should be assigned to keep the peace, …to repress all intention of uproar and force even in the first seed thereof and before that it should grow up to any offer of danger.” Lambard, book 1, ch. 4; 2 Hale, P. C., ch. 7, note 1. The real purpose of this act seems to have been to enable the king, Edward III, to appoint men upon whom he could rely in the different counties, to repress any effort of the people to release his father, Edward II, from prison.

When the English colonists settled at Jamestown in 1607 they brought not only the common customary law of England, but the law as modified by English statutes of general operation up to that time.

We see here, at the beginning of permanent civilized life on this continent, not only the contemplation of and provision for civil offices among the colonists, but also the practical application of the principle of local self-government, a principle of Anglo-Saxon derivation which, surviving the Norman Conquest, has always obtained, to a great and increasing extent, in England, and has ever been one of the fundamental principles of civil liberty in the rise, growth and progress of governments and governmental institutions in America.

With formation of government within the American colonies, the offices of sheriff, justice and constable were adopted from the English common law and the English ordinances. A warrant issued by a Native American magistrate directed an early colonial constable to arrest a suspect.

1. I, Hidondi.

2. You, Peter Waterman.

3. Jeremy Wicket.

4. Quick you take him.

5. Fast you hold him.

6. Straight you bring him.

7. Before me, Hidondi.

A minister from a Massachusetts Bay colony described an arrest warrant that was served by early American constables in a private home in 1651.

On Sunday after their arrival, ‘not having freedom in our spirits,’ says Clark, ‘for want of a clear call from God to go unto the public assemblie to declare there what was the mind, and counsel of God concerning them,’ he ‘judged it a thing suitable’ to hold divine service in the house and with the family of Witter, and four or five others who came in to join their worship. While thus engaged, there came in two constables with a warrant for their arrest. A request to finish the services was denied, and ‘the erroneous persons being strangers,’ whom the writ of Justice Bridges commanded should be brought before him in the morning, were marched off as prisoners — bail being refused — to the inn for safe keeping.

The Commonwealth of Virginia's adaptation of the ancient common law office of Conservator of the Peace was described by the Virginia Supreme Court in 1923:

The office of conservators of the peace is a very ancient one, and their common law authority to make police inspection, without a search warrant, extends throughout the territory for which they are elected or appointed, as the case may be, in private as well as in public places, and upon private as well as public property, unless inhibited from entry for such purpose without a search warrant by some rule of the common law, or by the Constitution, or by statute. It was provided in EDW. III, ch. 15, that “in every shire of the realm good men and lawful, which are no maintainers of evil nor barretors [sic] in the county, shall be assigned to keep the peace;” of which it was said that this “was as much as to say that in every shire the King himself should place special eyes and watches over the people, that should be both willing and wise to foresee, and should be also enabled with meet authority to repress all intention of uproar and force even in the first seed thereof and before that it should grow up to any offer of danger.” This was but declaratory of the common law authority of conservators of the peace. That authority could not have been at all efficiently exercised if a search warrant had had to be first obtained before any entry could have been lawfully made upon any land in private tenure. And while the duties and powers of police officers are, in modern times, largely defined and regulated by statute, it is elementary that the common law may be relied on to supply many incidents (of their powers), “and others are based on what may be necessarily implied from the powers expressly conferred.”

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The word "sheriff" is a contraction of the term "shire reeve". The term, from the Old English scīrgerefa, designated a royal official responsible for keeping the peace (a "reeve") throughout a shire or county on behalf of the king. The term was preserved in England notwithstanding the Norman Conquest. From England the term spread to several other countries, like Scotland, Ireland, and the United States. In the United States, a sheriff is generally, but not always, the highest law enforcement officer of a county. A sheriff is in most cases elected by the population of the county. In some states the sheriff is officially titled "High Sheriff", although the title is very rarely actually used. The political election of a person to serve as a police leader is an almost uniquely American tradition. A sworn law enforcement officer working for a sheriff is called a "sheriff's deputy", "sheriff's officer", or something similar, and is authorized to perform the sheriff's duties. In some states, a sheriff may not be a sworn officer, but merely an elected official in charge of sworn officers. These officers may be subdivided into "general deputies" and "special deputies". In some places, the sheriff has the responsibility to recover any deceased persons within their county, in which case the full title is "sheriff-coroner". In some counties, the sheriff's principal deputy is the warden of the county jail or other local correctional institution. In some areas of the United States, the sheriff is also responsible for collecting the taxes and may have other titles such as tax collector or county treasurer. Although rare, the sheriff may also be responsible for the county civil defense, emergency disaster service, rescue service, or emergency management. In the U.S., the relationship between the sheriff and other police departments varies widely from state to state, and indeed in some states from county to county. In the northeastern U.S., the sheriff's duties have been greatly reduced with the advent of state-level law enforcement agencies, especially the state police and local agencies such as the county police. In Vermont, for instance, the elected sheriff is primarily an officer of the County Court, whose duties include running the county jail and serving papers in lawsuits and foreclosures. Law enforcement patrol is performed as well, in support of State Police and in the absence of a municipal police agency in rural towns. Some such towns contract with the sheriff to provide dedicated law enforcement presence in lieu of creating a local police force. Sheriff offices may coexist with other county level law enforcement agencies such as county police, county park police, county detectives, etc.

The position of sheriff now exists in various countries:

Sheriffs are administrative legal officials (similar to bailiffs) in Ireland, Australia, and Canada.
Sheriffs are judges in Scotland.
Sheriff is a ceremonial position in England, Wales and India.
In the United States of America the role of a sheriff varies between different states and counties. In many rural areas, sheriffs and their deputies are the principal form of police, while in urban areas they may have more specialized duties, such as prisoner transport, serving warrants, service of process or police administration.

In British English, the political or legal office of a sheriff is called a shrievalty.

general inquiries can be emailed to njspbalocal108@gmail.com