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ACPO Hosts Groundbreaking Event on Intersection of Special Needs and Law Enforcement

Atlantic City

By: Najla Alexander

Authorities in Atlantic Cunty announced that the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office (ACPO) led a pioneering event at the Fannie Lou Hamer Event Center, situated at the Atlantic City campus of Stockton University, focusing on the crucial intersection between special needs and law enforcement.AdThe event, hosted by Prosecutor William Reynolds, drew an impressive audience, including nearly all Chiefs of Police from the County, the New Jersey State Police, the Division of Gaming Enforcement, the NJ Casino Association, security directors from several AC casinos, as well as Superintendents and educators from Atlantic County Schools, officials say.


Prosecutor Reynolds opened the event with remarks regarding the establishment of this initiative and setting the stage for an engaging and collaborative session, officials said.

According to officials, ACPO Chaplain Lou Strugala commenced the event with a poignant prayer and blessing, underscoring the significance of the initiative.

Officials stated highlighting the event’s agenda were distinguished presenters, including Erin Lichtenwalner, Director of Instructions, Programs & Services at the Atlantic County Special Services School District.AdThe keynote address was delivered by Barbara Morvay, an esteemed author known for her impactful works such as “My Brother is Different,” “My Sister is Different,” and “Responding to Incidents Involving Persons with Special Needs, A Manual for First Responders.”

Morvay, a former special needs teacher, principal, and superintendent of the Atlantic County Special Services School District, brought invaluable insights to the conversation, officials said.


According to officials, this event marked the kickoff for a comprehensive training initiative aimed at empowering both law enforcement personnel and educators in effectively serving students and citizens with special needs.

Scheduled for rollout in 2024, officials say, this training program, spearheaded by the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office under the leadership of Prosecutor William E Reynolds, will be offered free of charge and supervised by the ACPO.

Prosecutor Reynolds emphasized, “Today signifies the inception of a multiagency interdisciplinary approach aimed at equipping our officers and educators with the necessary tools and training to better serve our citizens with special needs.”

Officials said he underscored the significance of this effort in conjunction with the success of the special needs registry, which, when established, was one of the first county-wide registries in the nation.

For more information on the ACPO special needs registry and ongoing initiatives, visit