Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office

                                 25 Kirkpatrick Street, 3rd Floor, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 08901 (732) 745-3300


                                *News Release*          Date: April 21, 2009         





Police schedule annual conference to combat bias crimes



          Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan and Sheriff Joseph C. Spicuzzo today announced that 130 members of law enforcement have signed up to attend an annual conference aimed at training police officers to handle bias-related crimes.


The conference, set for Wednesday, (April 22, 2009) will be held at Joyce Kilmer American Legion Post 25 at 4 JFK Drive in Milltown between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.


Law enforcement officers from New Jersey, as well as surrounding states, will attend the day-long session, which will provide information on how to identify bias crimes and help those who have been victimized. In addition, officers will learn techniques for bringing cases against those who commit hate crimes.


Guest speakers during the day-long seminar include Sgt. Laury Hamilton and Tan Nguyen, both Middlesex County sheriff’s officers with expertise on ways to prevent bullying and harassing children on the internet.


The officers also will discuss ‘’sexting,’’ a slang term used by youngsters to describe the exchange of explicit – and potentially illegal – messages and images over the internet.


‘’I am excited for the opportunity for members of my staff to present this very informative program to the law enforcement community,’’ Sheriff Spicuzzo said.


Also scheduled to attend the session is New Jersey State Police Detective Sgt. Ronnie Hampton, who will discuss street gangs, supremacist groups and bias crime.


Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Greg Schweers will provide an update on New Jersey’s bias crime laws and recent court decisions, while Detective David D’Amico of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office will offer the correct procedures for preparing official reports on bias incidents.


The event is being sponsored by the New Jersey Bias Crimes Officers’ Association, a unit dedicated to combating hate crimes in the state.