Theodore (“Ted”) J. Romankow was appointed as the Chief Law Enforcement Officer of Union County, New Jersey on July 26, 2002 and served as the Union County Prosecutor until 2013 when he became Of Counsel to Javerbaum Wurgaft join its Criminal and General Litigation Departments.
Mr. Romankow was nominated by Governor James E. McGreevey in 2002 and was reappointed by Governor Jon Corzine to his second term as Prosecutor in January 2008. As Prosecutor, he was responsible for overseeing 250 employees and a $19.5 million budget while coordinating the law enforcement efforts of approximately 2,000 police officers in 21 local police departments, the Sheriff’s Office and the Union County Police Department.
Mr. Romankow served as President of the County Prosecutors Association of New Jersey and chaired the Prosecutor’s Association Juvenile Justice Committee. He also served in various capacities on the Drug Court Committee, the Child Life Protection Commission and the Coalition for the Prevention of Substance Abuse.
Faced with a rise in the number of unsolved homicides, Mr. Romankow created the Union County Homicide Task Force in 2008 and removed the responsibility of individual municipalities to investigate murders. Rather, officers from law enforcement agencies throughout the County were assigned to the Prosecutor’s Office to work with investigators and assistant prosecutors. The results were immediate, with the solve rate for county homicides rising to more than 75 percent, compared to prior municipalities in the 30 percent range.
At the direction of Prosecutor Romankow, Union County became one of the first in the state to utilize the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) statute against drug dealers and members of their organizations. Electronic surveillance conducted under the direction of Prosecutor Romankow led to the arrest and conviction of organized crime figures, gang members and leaders, drug kingpins and even decorated law enforcement officers. Prosecutor Romankow facilitated cooperation among all levels of law enforcement including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Department of Justice, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the New Jersey State Police and countless state, county and municipal police agencies. During Mr. Romankow’s tenure the Union County Prosecutor’s Office was consistently a leader in the State in a number of electronic surveillance investigations conducted and was cited for being aggressive and innovative with its investigative techniques.
Prosecutor Romankow, in continuing his effort to stem violence, created a Gang Task Force and Gang Intelligence Unit. This newly created Unit was specifically charged with investigating gang-related crimes and prosecuting these various felons. At his direction, a gang member directory was created. The directory was the first pictorial directory to utilize various determining identifiers from the United States Federal Government. This directory was provided to every municipality within Union County, along with the state and federal law enforcement agencies.
Mr. Romankow was a frequent lecturer on the topic of Drug Interdiction, Gang Violence and Human Trafficking. He testified before the New Jersey Assembly and Senate Judiciary Committees on the plight of women and children forced into servitude. He helped draft the New Jersey Human Trafficking law.
He testified in the Senate before the Law and Public Safety and Veterans’ Affairs Committee in reference to proposed amendments to the New Jersey Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Control Act. The New Jersey Narcotics Enforcement Officers Association awarded him the Prosecutor of the Year award in 2008.
Working closely with the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, the Union County Improvement Authority and the Department of Children and Families, Mr. Romankow was the driving force for new program designs, public grant writing, and construction of a new state-of-the-art 11,000 square-foot Child Advocacy Center, dedicated on October 3, 2012. The Center housed 26 full time staff, including investigators from the Prosecutor’s Office, Division of Child Protection and Permanency, mental health staff from Trinitas Regional Medical Center and nursing staff from Runnells Specialized Hospital of Union County. The Center employed an advanced, efficient “wrap around” service model that brought together all existing child abuse services from multiple locations to a single location, providing professional assistance to child abuse survivors such as interviews, intake, medical examination and mental health intake evaluation and counseling. This wrap around service model significantly truncates investigation and treatment from days to hours.
In February 2013, the Center received a national award from the National Community Development Association in Washington D.C. as one the eight best family assistance programs in the United States. The Center interacted with over 500 Union County families each year reporting abuse.
Mr. Romankow graduated from Seton Hall University and the Rutgers School of Law, Newark, New Jersey. After graduating from law school, he was admitted to the State of New Jersey Bar and the Bar of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. He was also admitted to the United States Supreme Court in 2006. He is a member of the New Jersey state Bar Association and the American Bar Association.
Prior to his appointment as Prosecutor, Mr. Romankow had extensive criminal and civil litigation experience. He started his career serving three years in the Office of the Public Defender. Thereafter, he was a partner in a private law practice with Warren Hehl followed by a partnership with Joseph Garrubo where he was well known for his extensive civil and criminal litigation expertise. He served as Chairman of the Union County Ethics Committee and was a member of the Judicial Appointments Committee.