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Burlington County Sheriff

The Burlington County Sheriff’s Department is the principal law enforcement agency in Burlington County, New Jersey. The department is headed by a sheriff elected to a three-year term.

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    Anthony Basantis

  • Michael Ditzel

  • Erik D. Johnston

  • Candidate picture

    Robert Shapiro

Biographical Information

In your view, what are the biggest issues facing the sheriff's department at this time?

What are your qualifications for this office? Why are you the best candidate to handle the responsibilities of the position?

What can the sheriff do to improve public trust in law enforcement?

There are many issues around Burlington County that the Sheriff must face. The ones that stand out the most are gun violence and the opioid epidemic. By having a hard stance on illegal guns and fighting to get them off the street, it will make neighborhoods safe places to live, and schools safe places to learn. By providing immediate access to services and treatment facilities to the individuals that are in need and want help, combined with bringing drug awareness education back to the schools, it will help in combating the opioid epidemic.
I have worked various job assignments as a Sheriff’s Officer for the Burlington County Sheriff’s Department for the last 15 years. Prior employment was for the NJ Judiciary as a Juvenile Probation Officer. My caseload consisted of specialized cases that involved high risk juveniles. I have also worked many years in the restaurant/hospitality industry and have managerial experience. I have obtained my Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Rutgers University. I believe I am the best candidate because I have experience in not just law enforcement, but also in customer service. I also have the education needed to be a great Sheriff. A Sheriff is a public servant and should have the skills to serve the needs of the citizens.
The Sheriff can do many things to improve public trust in the community. One of my goals as Sheriff is to introduce community policing. Having officers in the community and interacting with the citizens of the county will build trust and show that the Sheriff’s Department is here to help and to provide well needed services. More training is also necessary to give the officers the tools they need to serve the community. In addition, transparency is very important. As Sheriff, my department needs to be transparent with the community by sharing information and other details about the department and the various operations. This, in turn will build that trust that is needed within the community.
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1. Protecting students by providing school safety to those schools which do not already have a school safety officer. 2. Protecting congregants at houses of worship. 3. Preventing teen suicide.
I am an attorney and an educator. I worked in the court system prior to law school so I know how courts operate and the important role the Sheriff officers play as court officers . I've done pro bono work for homeowners facing foreclosure so I know the role the Sheriff plays in the Sheriff sales of property and the ability the Sheriff has to keep homeowners in their homes. I was a member of the Cherry Hill Fire Police so I know how the Sheriff'f office responds to traffic situations. Like Jean Stanfield, the former Burlington County Sheriff who was an assistant prosecutor in the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office, I was a Special Assistant District Attorney in the Kings County (Brooklyn) District Attorney's Office.
The Sheriff's Office should promote "Strategy Summits" with participants being the Sheriff, the local police chiefs, local mayors, and community leaders.These "Strategy Summits" can open the door to community-wide conversations about policing standards, transparency and inclusiveness, race relations and social equity. The Sheriff should practice consistency, fairness, and procedural justice. All of which are elements of building foundations of trust and legitimacy.