COURT HOUSE – In a Dec. 21 ceremony, Jeffrey Sutherland took the oath of office as Cape May County’s prosecutor, with over 100 individuals in attendance at the Historic Courthouse.
Sutherland, a Linwood attorney who most recently served as Cape May County Democratic Party chairman, invited Drug Court Judge Mark Sandson to administer the oath while Sutherland's wife Yolanda held the Bible.
The crowd of family and supporters also witnessed the swearing in of over 50 assistant prosecutors and county detectives.
Sutherland indicated that he plans no change in the leadership of the Prosecutor’s Office, praising his predecessor, Robert Taylor, and First Assistant Prosecutor, Rob Johnson, who briefly served as acting prosecutor, and Paul Skill, chief of detectives.
Sutherland’s remarks focused on the need for the Prosecutor’s Office to face the challenges confronting the county, with no challenge greater than the opioid crisis. “The programs we have in place are moving in the right direction,” he said.
Sutherland placed emphasis on the need to address the drug addiction problem in ways that provide intervention “before it moves to criminal court.” He promised a “strong, organized and dedicated office” that will serve as an effective “face of law enforcement for the county.”
Sutherland urged everyone to understand the ways in which the opioid crisis has changed the nature of law enforcement in the last several years. He spoke of police officers who must now do so much more than enforce the law, even developing capabilities as “medics and counselors.” He said he recognizes the “importance and the gravity” of the challenge.
Sutherland is a graduate of Widener University School of Law. He resides in Ocean City where he served on the city’s Historic Preservation Committee from 2009 to 2016. Aside from practicing law in Atlantic and Cape May counties for 27 years, Sutherland served as municipal prosecutor for the City of Ventnor.
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