The new facility for the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office in Secaucus includes a child advocacy center, DNA lab, and cybercrime lab.
In an interview after a walking tour of the facility, located at Building 1 at 595 County Ave., Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez said their previous office at Duncan Avenue was outdated it upgrades for employees and residents alike were long overdue.
“What we’ve got here is a state-of-the-art facility: we really tried to look forward into the future and tried to make more than just office space for the people that are here – we did create new office space – but we created new things such as the child advocacy center, the DNA lab, [and] a cybercrime lab to start thinking a little bit about the office and the services we can render in Hudson County,” she said.
When asked if there was a specific feature or amenity she was excited about, Suarez said they were all important, further explaining that the special victims unit investigates about 450 sexual assaults a year, many of which involve minors.
The advocacy center is designed to make juveniles feel more comfortable dealing aiding letting law enforcement, continuing that the DNA lab will significantly speed up their ability to solve crimes.
“Currently, if we have any kind of evidence that needs to be processed, whether it’s under someone’s fingernails, or hair, or otherwise, we’ll send it down to the state police and handle it in Hamilton and they will handle it,” Suarez noted.
“And – they’re very, very busy – it usually takes about three to four months for the more serious cases, some cases it takes longer. And when we are in a position to be doing it for ourselves, which will be shortly, we’ll be able to do that within days.”
Others that delivered remarks at the ribbon cutting ceremony includes HCPO Chief of Detectives James Parker, New Jersey Children’s Alliance Communications Director Olga Starr, Hudson County Board of Commissioners Chair Anthony Vainieri, and Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise.
DeGise was outspoken about the less than stellar conditions over at Duncan Avenue.
“I could remember coming into office 20 years ago, taking a tour of the facilities, and when I got down to Duncan Avenue, I said to myself and the people that were with me that ‘this is a disgrace’ for the important function that’s going down there – and I believe the state board of education was down there also at that point – was wrong and something needed to be done about it.”
Between the SVU, Homicide Unit, Narcotics Task Force, and Crime Scene Unit, about 90 employees will utilize the Secaucus facility.