WOOD-RIDGE, N.J. -- Wood-Ridge residents and merchants are invited to give their opinion of the borough police department as part of a process known as accreditation.
Department members and borough employees are encouraged to call, as well, during the designated phone-in period from 10 a.m.-noon this Sunday, Dec. 13.
The number: (201) 939-6798
A team of assessors from the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police (NJSACOP) will examine “all aspects of the Wood-Ridge Police Department's policies and procedures, management, operations, and support services,” during a headquarters visit on Monday, Police Chief Joseph Rutigliano said.
Law enforcement agencies prize the designation for several reasons.
Although it hasn’t been proven to directly improve police response time or reduce crime, accreditation does help taxpayers by reducing risk and liability exposure and providing a stronger defense against civil lawsuits.It also demands greater accountability within an agency while publicly sending a message that it's committed to professionalism — the same as colleges and other institutions do.
The department must meet standards in 105 areas, including prisoner transfers, how petty cash is handled and the process for evidence chain-of-custody.
The review team, made up of law enforcement officers from similar agencies, will “review written materials, interview agency members and visit offices and other places where compliance with the standards can be observed,” said Harry J. Delgado, the program manager.
They'll report to the commission, which determines whether to grant accreditation.
Those who favor accreditation say it’s one thing to have guidelines but another to have them sanctioned by such a respected authority. Accreditation is valid for a three-year period, during which the agency must submit annual reports.
Comments can also be emailed: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also write: New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police, Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission at 11,000 Lincoln Drive West, Suite 12 Marlton, N.J. 08053.
A copy of the standards is available for inspection at the Wood-Ridge Police Department, 85 Humboldt Street. Contact Lt. Scott Drotos, the department's accreditation manager, at (201) 939-0476 or email@example.com.
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