A new face is leading the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office and she is the first Black woman to do it.

Burlington County Acting Prosecutor LaChia Bradshaw took her oath of office at the Olde Historic Courthouse in Mount Holly on Tuesday while her mother held the bible used in the ceremony.

Bradshaw joined the department 20 years ago. She most recently served as Senior Assistant Prosecutor in the Special Victim’s Unit, which focuses on sexual assault and child abuse cases.

She replaces Scott Coffina in the role. Coffina stepped down last month to join the private sector after five years leading the prosecutor's office.

Scott Coffina
Former Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina. (AP)

Bradshaw said she hopes to inspire others, particularly people of color, to serve in law enforcement and prosecution.

“Representation matters,” she said. “Even as a career prosecutor, I never imagined it was possible to obtain this position. Primarily because I'd never seen anyone in this county who looked like me in this position."

Governor Phil Murphy nominated Bradshaw in May for the acting position. She will not be able to drop the "acting" label until she is confirmed by the state Senate.

In her first act, Bradshaw appointed Patrick Thornton as chief of detectives. Thorton first joined the prosecutor's office in 2020 as chief of staff.

Patrick Thornton (left) and LaChia Bradshaw (center). (BCPO)
Patrick Thornton (left) and LaChia Bradshaw (center). (BCPO)

“After a thirty-year career in law enforcement, being able to return to Burlington County and serve as the chief of detectives is a great honor,” Thornton said.

Rick Rickman is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at richard.rickman@townsquaremedia.com

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