Essex County New Jersey May Soon Have First Black Sheriff

John C. Arnold announced today that he has secured key endorsements in his race to become the first Black Sherriff
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Photo: Twitter

Essex County NJ – John C. Arnold announced today that he has secured key endorsements in his race to become the first Black Sherriff in the 339-year-history of Essex County, New Jersey.

The former Deputy Police Director and ordained pastor is competing for the Democratic nomination and to date he has received key endorsements from police groups across the county along with leading Black pastors who are integral in the national fight for criminal justice reform.

The Superior Officers of Essex County Department of Correctional Police, FOP Lodge 106 endorsed Arnold, stating that his track record as a former Deputy Police Director for the city of Newark and his commitment to police reform is what the county needs to move policing forward in the wake of a clarion call across the country for better community police relations. In addition, the Essex County Police Benevolent Association endorsed Arnold on April 22 in a unanimous vote and wished Arnold “continued success in the election.”

Arnold also received support from key clergy members, including Rev. Dr. Steffie Bartley, Senior Pastor of New Hope Baptist Church and Northeast Regional Director for National Action Network, one of the leading civil rights organizations in the country. According to Pastor Bartley: “It was through John’s leadership that NAN and the AG’s office started a program in Newark where Essex County Pastors took to the streets to become chaplains and created transparent community dialogues to address concerns in the wake of police misconduct across the country.”

Pastor Jerry Smith, Senior Pastor at Transcend Worship Center and Vice President of National Action Network’s Irvington, New Jersey Chapter, works closely with Essex County leadership on outreach and ministry in the community. He is supporting Arnold because he is the viable force that is needed right now to reform policing for the betterment of Essex County. “As a pastor, the community comes to us for answers and I am often called to deliver eulogies for residents that are victims of crime, gun violence, and even victims of police misconduct and excessive force, and community members need a leader like John Arnold that will be an accountable advocate for us.”

Among the areas of reform that Arnold has pledged to address include community-based initiatives & working partnerships, mandatory body cameras, enhanced training, diverse and fair hiring practices.

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