Accreditation assessment team for UCPD invites public comment

UNION COUNTY, NJ — A team of assessors from the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police will visit the Union County Division of Police in the Department of Public Safety on Monday, Sept. 21, for a final on-site assessment of all aspects of police division policies and procedures, management, operations, and support services, Chief of Police James Debbie announced.

“Verification by the team that the Union County 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,” Debbie said.

“Participation by the community is part of the accreditation process, and the freeholder board welcomes the input of our residents as we strive to achieve the highest standards in public service,” Freeholder Chairperson Alexander Mirabella said.

As part of this final on-site assessment, employees and members of the general public are invited to provide comments to the assessment team. They may do so by telephone or email. The public may call 908-789-6834 on Sept. 21, between the hours of 10 and 11 a.m. Email comments should be sent to dlynn@ucnj.org.

Additionally, anyone wishing to offer written comments about the Union County Police Division’s compliance with the standards for accreditation is requested to email the accreditation program manager Harry Delgado at hdelgado@njsacop.org or write to the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police, Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission, at 751 Route 73 N., Suite 12, Marlton, NJ 08053.

Telephone comments are limited to five minutes and must address the agency’s ability to comply with the NJSACOP standards. A copy of the standards is available for inspection at the Union County Police Division, located at 400 North Ave. E. in Westfield; contact Detective Deanna Lynn at 908-789-6834.

The Union County Police Department must comply with 105 standards in order to achieve accredited status.

“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,” Debbie said.

“The assessment team is composed of law enforcement practitioners from similar New Jersey law enforcement agencies,” Delgado said. “The assessors will review written materials, interview agency members, and visit offices and other places where compliance with the standards can be observed. Once the commission’s assessors complete their review of the agency, they will report to the full commission, which will then decide if the agency is to be granted accredited status.”

Accreditation is valid for a three-year period, during which time the agency must submit annual reports attesting to its continued compliance with those standards under which it was initially accredited.

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