MORRIS COUNTY — Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon has been named by his peers as president of the Sheriffs’ Association of New Jersey.
He took the oath of office for a two-year term last week at special event in West Windsor Township. He succeeds the immediate past president, Ocean County Sheriff Michael G. Mastronardy.
“Sheriffs are the oldest, non-military law enforcement entities in history. I’m intrigued by that ancient significance and thrilled to lead the Sheriffs’ Association of New Jersey in an era when the public demands that its law enforcement leaders are highly trained and perform their jobs with impeccable integrity,” Sheriff Gannon said.
The 77th Sheriff of Morris County, Sheriff Gannon was sworn in on January 2, 2017 to his first, three-year term. On January 1, 2020 he started serving his second term as Sheriff after being re-elected in November 2019 by the voters of Morris County.
“We offer congratulations to Sheriff Gannon, who has worked closely with county government on a host of programs designed to improve the safety of our residents, while reaching out to residents in need of help,” said Morris County Freeholder Doug Cabana, the county governing body’s liaison to law enforcement.
At times partnering with non-profit agencies and the Morris County Chiefs of Police Association, Sheriff Gannon in his first term created an array of progressive programs that focus on curbing the opioid epidemic, crime recidivism, and threats to school safety.
Sheriff Gannon has made protection of all 319 houses of worship in Morris County a priority during his administration, with the Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team (SERT) conducting regular reassurance checks of these institutions in conjunction with local police.Under his administration, a shared services agreement struck with the Sussex County Sheriff’s Office calls for Sussex County inmates to be housed in the Morris County Correctional Facility.
The Hope One mobile substance abuse resource and recovery program, launched on April 3, 2017, stops throughout Morris County at least twice a week, providing free Narcan training and assistance with accessing recovery and rehabilitation programs and services for mental health disorders. On New Year’s Eve 2019, Hope One celebrated making its 10,000th contact in the community.
Sheriff Gannon in 2017 created the Hope Wing at the Morris County Correctional Facility, which connects inmates with substance use disorders with services that include sessions on addiction recovery, anger management, repairing familial relationships.
The Sheriff, in collaboration with the Morris County Department of Human Services, also started the STAR program at the Morris County Correctional Facility that assists inmates about to be discharged with housing, job opportunities, and medical needs that include monthly Vivitrol injections to prevent relapses.
A major undertaking in 2018 by the Sheriff, in collaboration with the Morris County Police Chiefs Association, was the Responsible School Violence Prevention Preparation and Protection program (RSVP-3). This multi-pronged program has brought together law enforcement, school leaders and mental health professionals for Behavioral Threat Assessment and Management (B-TAM) training on how to investigate and weigh potential risks to school safety and intervene before violence erupts.
The RSVP-3 program has led to creation of a mobile app through which students and anyone else can anonymously report threats or security concerns that are monitored round-the-clock by law enforcement professionals.
In February, Sheriff Gannon will host a meeting of the Sheriffs Association of New Jersey in Morris County.