January 22, 2014

Police Accreditation Team Seeks Public Comment

The Princeton Police Department will undergo the final step in the process of accreditation by the State of New Jersey when it is visited by a team of assessors from the New Jersey State Association of Police Chiefs (NJSACOP) on Sunday and Monday, January 26 and 27. Members of the public are invited to offer comments on the Department’s ability to comply with those standards by means of five minute long telephone calls to (609) 924 0026 on the 26th between 9 and 11 a.m.

This will be the first accreditation following consolidation of the police departments of Princeton Township and Princeton Borough and all aspects of the new Princeton Police Department policies and procedures, management, operations, and support services will be examined during the two-day review.

“Each year we must show documentary proof that we are conforming to the standards of the Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission and every three years the State conducts a re-accreditation process,” explained Lt. Chris Morgan.

“When the NJSACOP team first arrives we will provide a display of personnel and equipment and give them a tour of the station. They will inspect cells and files and review general orders. They are also expected to go on a ride-along with officers and to interview officers. Ultimately, a report will be sent to the state chiefs of police, and a decision will be made on whether accredited status will be granted” said Mr. Morgan.

“Verification by the team that the Princeton Police Department meets the Commission’s ‘best practice’ standards is part of a voluntary process to achieve accreditation, a highly prized recognition of law enforcement professional excellence,” commented Captain Nick Sutter, in a press release. “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.”

Accreditation is valid for a three-year period during which time the police department must submit annual reports showing their continued compliance with the standards under which it was initially accredited by NJSACOP’s Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission.

According to Mr. Morgan, the standards address in detail the following five functions: Administrative, Personnel, Operations, Investigative, and Arrestee and Prisoner Handling. Among the items under scrutiny will be the handling of complaints; the recruitment and selection of personnel; procedures of arrest, search and seizure; crime scene processing such as the storage of property and evidence; and prisoner processing.

“This assessment is the last step in a lengthy process,” said Mr. Morgan of the review of the department’s compliance with 100 standards and the requirements of each.”

Members of the public can view a copy of the NJSACOP standards at the Princeton Police Department, 1 Valley Road. Besides telephoning comments on Monday, the public may also email them to cmorgan@prince
tonnj.gov, and written comments may be mailed to the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police, Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission at 11,000 Lincoln Drive West, Suite 12 Marlton, N.J. 08053. Comments must address the Princeton police department’s ability to comply with the NJSACOP standards.

For more information, contact Lt. Christopher Morgan at (609) 921-2100 ext.1831.