ELIZABETH, N.J - “The Union County Prosecutor’s Office will no longer investigate homicides or suspicious deaths in Elizabeth the city with the most killings in the county”, said Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow.
The decision, effective immediately, comes after Romankow’s repeated requests that Elizabeth detectives be placed on the Homicide Task Force were denied. The task force investigates homicides in all county municipalities and the Elizabeth investigations were draining office resources, Romankow said.
“Chiefs from other departments have been considerate, offering their men and women to help us in these homicide investigations knowing 50 percent of their time is going to be spent in Elizabeth — who hasn’t given us anybody,” Romankow said today.
NUMBER OF HOMICIDES IN ELIZABETH
2009: 7 (county had 14)
2010: 14 (county had 27)
2011: 17 county had 36)
2012: 12 (county has 22)
Elizabeth, which recorded 12 of 22 Union County homicides so far this year, will have to handle its homicide investigations with its own police department as it did before 2008, when the task force formed. The prosecutor’s office is still the supervising agency and will assign an assistant prosecutor to every homicide.