ESSEX COUNTY, NJ — On Feb. 24, Essex County prosecutors held their 10th annual Black History Month Program via Zoom. As in past years, the 2021 program was co-sponsored by the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Officers.
Anthony Johnson, a veteran journalist from WABC–TV in New York, served as keynote speaker. Joining Johnson and acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore Stephens II on the call were several local officials, led by Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo Jr.
Johnson encouraged those in the black community to “not be left behind” because of reluctance to trust and receive vaccines; particularly if that distrust was based on infamous historical events, like the Tuskegee experiments. He closed by thanking the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office for celebrating the contribution of black Americans and all of the ECPO’s efforts in manning the front lines in the support of the continuing pursuit of justice.
Including Johnson, the 2021 Black History Month honorees are: ECPO Assistant Prosecutor Chelsea Coleman; retired East Orange Police Sgt. Georges Destin; Montclair State University Police Sgt. Jaison Frazier; ECPO Detective Ain Green-Farrow; Dara Govan, an assistant U.S. attorney; retired ECPO Lt. Shelia Hobson; William Payne, former assemblyman and Essex County deputy chief of staff; ECPO legal assistant Kecia Richardson-Gilbert; Newark–Beth Israel Hospital COO Darrell Terry; West Orange African Heritage Organization President Althia Twieten, a former Newark educator and researcher; Orange Police Director Todd Warren; Montclair Police Lt. Tyrone Williams; retired East Orange Police Deputy Chief Anthony Woodson; and soon-to-be-retiring Newark Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose, who received the Special Recognition Award.
In closing, ECPO Chief of Detectives Mitchell McGuire III thanked all who attended the event and gave special thanks to the executive board of NOBLE; NOBLE President Jiles Shipp; and the ECPO Black History Month Committee members, Gwendolyn Williams, Katherine Carter, Rhudell Snelling, Anthony Deprospo and Michael Bramhall, for their incredible efforts.