The Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office Public Information Unit was staffed during 2016 by one civilian prosecutor’s agent who serves as the Public Information Officer (PIO) and is responsible for daily contacts with the media and general public concerning matters of public record. Working within the guidelines of Executive Order #69, the PIO coordinates with the investigative units and legal staff to release information in compliance with the law.
The PIO maintains contact with regional and local news organizations, including internet, newspaper, radio and television, and works with these organizations concerning information on crimes, arrests, Grand Jury indictments, court activity, and other information relevant to public safety. The PIO is available to the media 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This system gives the media one source to contact for information, which relieves the on-scene investigators and legal personnel from that duty.
The Unit distributes press releases, executes press conferences and responds daily to inquiries from various media outlets. Copies of all press releases, public statements from the Prosecutor and news clips collected from area media outlets are filed and maintained by the Public Information Officer, as well as posted on the Office’s web site. Assistance is provided when requested to the county’s municipal police departments, as well as state and federal law enforcement agencies during joint operations.
In addition, the PIO assists with requests for public information released under the authority of the Open Public Records Act, provides photography services for office events, maintains the office’s Facebook and Twitter accounts and arranges for speakers to attend community and civic events.
PROCOPS Awards Banquet
The Public Information Officer is responsible for planning and executing the BCOP Annual Awards Banquet, known as PROCOPS (Prosecutor’s Recognition Of Citizens Or Public Servants). Established in 1988, the PROCOPS Banquet pays tribute to local, state, and federal law enforcement officials along with private citizens and groups working with and providing assistance to law enforcement in Burlington County.
Along with the Prosecutor’s awards, the Annual Richard L. Barbour Scholarship Award is presented to a law student selected by the Scholarship Committee. The scholarship was founded in memory of Burlington County Assistant Prosecutor Richard L. Barbour, who was slain during a robbery in Philadelphia in April 1991. The banquet is held in May during National Police Week and is attended by approximately 150 people.