Camden, N.J. – Camden County Prosecutor Grace C. MacAulay is pleased to formally announce the newly created Community Outreach and Engagement (COE) Unit of the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office.
The Community Outreach and Engagement Unit’s primary purpose is to bridge the gap between law enforcement and the community. The COE Unit will accomplish such by forming partnerships with community, grass roots and faith-based organizations.
“The unit will be in and with the community, participating in and sponsoring various community events, and holding community conversations responding to their needs,” said MacAulay. “We are focused on building long term relationships based on a foundation of mutual respect and trust. Through these relationships, we will accomplish our goals of prevention, intervention, equity and inclusion. We must address racial disparities that exist in our community and this is an incredible opportunity to do so. Engaging with our community is a top priority for law enforcement!”
The COE Unit will work with our partners to introduce our community to the many opportunities Camden County has to offer. Whether that is introducing a classroom of middle school students to health and science professionals in their community – thereby providing positive role models for encouragement, development and change; referring a high school student to a mentoring program that will guide and assist them through the college application process; or assisting a family with referring a loved one to mental health or substance abuse treatment – the COE Unit will be there to help navigate the community through every step of the journey.
“We must empower our community through this process – doing so will ensure that everyone in our community has the same opportunities for growth and development,” said MacAulay. “Often it is pointing someone in the direction of an already existing but underutilized community resource that brings about positive change. The COE Unit will do just that. Where there is opportunity, there is hope and where there is hope, there is a brighter future!”
Assistant Prosecutor Sonja Furlow will serve as the Section Chief of the COE Unit. Furlow has been with the office for 15 years and most recently served as the Section Chief of the office’s Domestic Violence Unit. She has also previously served in the office’s Juvenile, Trial Team and Special Prosecutions Units.
“Sonja is very well positioned to jumpstart this team,” said MacAulay. “Sonja is a committed and compassionate person who always puts others before herself. She is acutely focused on the community and giving back to those we serve. She is the perfect person for this position. Without a doubt, the COE Unit and the relationships that will be built will flourish under her leadership and care. She truly understands that we are all stronger when we work together!”
The COE Unit will also include Lieutenant Carlos Plaza, Acting Sergeant Miguel Rubert, Detective Felix Abreu, Community Engagement Coordinator Nancy Cruz, and Public Information Officer Andrew Kramer. Additional CCPO staff members will be added soon.
“We have assembled an incredibly strong team with a proven record of success,” said Furlow. “Through these endeavors, we will bridge the gap between law enforcement and the community. New relationships and partnerships will be formed. Our community will see that Camden County law enforcement is truly here to serve. I am honored to play an integral part in implementing Prosecutor MacAulay’s vison and mission for the COE Unit. I know great things are on the horizon!”
Anyone interested in connecting with the CCPO’s Community Outreach and Engagement Unit is encouraged to email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Section Chief Furlow at 856-225-8460.
(The above photo was taken 1/18/2022 at the CCPO’s Operation Helping Hand event in Lindenwold. From left to right: Acting Sergeant Miguel Rubert, CEC Nancy Cruz, Detective Felix Abreu, COE Unit Section Chief Sonja Furlow and PIO Andrew Kramer)