MAYS LANDING- The Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office will sponsor a ZOOM webinar on April 28, 2021 at 11 a.m., to give the community and law enforcement an opportunity to discuss how to strengthen relationships and develop new programs and policies that will protect those most vulnerable in our area with special needs, Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner announced.
This webinar will provide information, regarding Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training for law enforcement the Atlantic County Special Needs Registry, and other support services from the ARC of Atlantic County. The panelists and participants are comprised of ARC staff and clients and Atlantic County Special Services School staff.
“I believe it is extremely important to support and develop programs that promote positive interactions between the community and law enforcement. I am very pleased that the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office has developed the Atlantic County Special Needs Registry to help build trust between the special needs community and law enforcement. The registry does an excellent job at helping the special needs community provide crucial information to law enforcement in hopes to avoid an adverse experience during interactions,” said Raymond Royster, Victim Witness Coordinator, Office of Victim Witness Advocacy.
In 2020, Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon G. Tyner launched the Atlantic County Special Needs Registry Atlantic County Special Needs Registry that serves as a joint collaboration between the Atlantic County Prosecutors Office and all other law enforcement agencies in Atlantic County. The goal of the Atlantic County Special Needs Registry is to ensure that all Atlantic County residents who have Special Needs are able to receive the assistance and support they require in a time of emergency or during interaction with Law Enforcement, Fire or EMS personnel.
The ZOOM webinar will feature Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon G. Tyner, Raymond Royster, Victim Witness Coordinator, Office of Victim Witness Advocacy, ARC Chief Operations Officer Pat Jones and Class 3 Special Law Enforcement Officer James Armstrong who is assigned to the Atlantic County Special Services School District.
Pat Jones, is originally from Pitman, New Jersey. She received her Bachelor of Science in Individual and Family Studies from the Pennsylvania State University. Pat worked as a Teacher’s Aide in Pedrickstown, NJ before coming to The Arc of Atlantic County in 1980. Pat started her career at The Arc as a Group Home Aide at The Arc’s first group home. She was promoted to Group Home Assistant Manager, Group Home Manager, and later Program Director. During her time as Program Director, The Arc’s residential housing and adult training services experienced tremendous growth. Pat became the Associate Executive Director in 1989 and the Chief Operations Officer in 1999. For two years Pat served as The Arc’s CEO (2015 to 2017). She is currently the Chief Operations Officer. As Chief Operations Officer, Pat oversees all program areas, supervises operations directors, and works in the development of new programs as well as overseeing The Arc’s CQL accreditation and strategic planning process. Pat is an active participant in the New Jersey Conference of Executives group.
James Armstrong is a retired Atlantic City Police Sergeant after serving 25 years with the Atlantic City Police Department, and he now serves as a Class 3 Special Law Enforcement Officer and is assigned to the Atlantic County Special Services School District since 2018. Officer Armstrong also served for 25 years in the NJ Air National Guard and retired from the Military. During the last 10 years of both his Law Enforcement and Military careers he was assigned to the training divisions of both respective organizations. Armstrong holds a Masters degree in Administration, and a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice.
“The advantage to working here is that many of my students can attend school until 21 years of age. I have exposure to both children and adults. The ACSSSD has students with every disability imaginable. Some of the students have multiple disabilities. Some are physical, some are cognitive. The school has a “crisis response team” made up of individuals specially trained to handle special needs students who are involved in a crisis. I have learned much from each of them,” Officer Armstrong said.
The Special Needs Registry is open and offered at no-cost to registrants. The information collected for the registry is private and will only be used and stored by law enforcement and first responders during times of crisis. Registrants will have the opportunity to sign up and provide key information about themselves or loved ones so that law enforcement and first responders will be more equipped to address any “Special needs” that an individual has.
Click here for the Atlantic County Special Needs Registry Webinar.
Anyone with information involving serious crimes is asked to call the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office at 609-909-7800 or go to the Prosecutor’s Office Web site at https://www.acpo.org/tips.html and provide information by filling out the form anonymously on the Submit a Tip page. People can also call Crime Stoppers at 609-652-1234 or 1-800-658-8477 (TIPS) or visit the Crime Stoppers Website at http://www.crimestoppersatlantic.com/. Crime Stoppers offers cash rewards for information leading to the arrest and indictment of those who commit crimes in Atlantic County.