EDGEWATER, N.J. -- The Edgewater Police Department is working to earn its first accreditation from the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police.
The borough hired the consulting firm Rodgers Group LLC, for $39,000 to help update policies, procedures, rules and regulations to comply with the standards established by the NJSACOP.
A $25,000 grant fromthe South Bergen Municipal Joint Insurance Fund will cover part of the cost.
The Rodgers Group will help prepare the department for a visit from a team of assessors from the chiefs' association will examine all aspects of the department
Verification by the team that the department meets its organization's ‘best practice’ standards is a "highly-prized recognition of law enforcement professional excellence,” Police Chief William Skidmore said.
Accreditation "results in greater accountability within the agency, reduced risk and liability exposure, stronger defense against civil lawsuits, increased community advocacy, and more confidence in the agency’s ability to operate efficiently and respond to community needs,” according to NJSACOP.
Although it hasn’t been proven to directly improve police response time, reduce crime, or cut costs to taxpayers, accreditation does send a message that a department is committed to professionalism — the same as colleges and other institutions do.
It also qualifies the department for grants that it might not otherwise get.
The 100+ standards the department must meet includes those involving prisoner transfers, how petty cash is handled, and the process for evidence chain-of-custody.
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