These consolidated appeals present an issue of first impression, requiring the court to decide whether the State's utilization of federally-contracted civilian monitors, who were sworn as "Special County Investigators," violated the New Jersey Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Control Act, N.J.S.A. 2A:156A-1 to -37. Unlike Title III of the federal Omnibus Crime and Safe Streets Act, 18 U.S.C. §§ 2510-2523, New Jersey's Wiretap Act does not expressly permit delegation of wire interception to civilian personnel.
Because the Prosecutor exercised his inherent power to appoint personnel as part of his responsibility to carry out the duties of his office here, the court concludes the monitors were cloaked with the investigative responsibility of law enforcement officers when they intercepted the communications at issue. Accordingly, the court discerns no violation of the Wiretap Act, and affirms the Law Division order that denied defendants' motion to suppress the intercepted communications and the evidence seized as a result of those communications.