2014-01-30 / Front Page

Freehold Police Department to undergo accreditation

By CLARE MARIE CELANO
Staff Writer

FREEHOLD — Municipal officials have determined that the accreditation of the Freehold Borough Police Department will increase the efficiency of public safety and enhance departmental accountability.

To that end, the Borough Council has awarded a contract to the Rodgers Group of Island Heights to perform an accreditation of the Police Department.

The borough received a proposal from the firm on Dec. 18 to perform the job at a cost of $39,000. On Dec. 30 the council hired the company to perform the task in accordance with guidelines established by the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police.

Borough Administrator Joseph Bellina said Police Chief Glenn Roberts came to him about 18 months ago to ask about accreditation for the Police Department.

“The chief said it was something he had been wanting to do for a while,” Bellina said. “The [Police Department’s] rules and regulations have evolved over the years under the past several chiefs, and the plan is to bring them together synergistically as one. Having the Police Department go through the accreditation process will also save us between 5 and 8 percent on our police liability insurance per year.”

Bellina said the Rogers Group is directed by retired New Jersey State Police Lt. Col. Frank E. Rodgers.

Speaking about the accreditation process, Roberts said, “It is a great way to increase the professionalism of the department and to stay current with trends, policies and laws. We look forward to engaging this program and implementing it when completed.”

A resolution passed by the council states that accreditation of a police department increases cooperation and coordination with other law enforcement agencies and other branches of the criminal justice system.

“The process requires an in-depth review of every aspect of the agency’s organization, management, operations and administration, which includes establishing department goals and objectives, evaluating the current use of department resources, evaluation of departmental policies and procedures, correcting internal deficiencies and inefficiencies and providing the opportunity to reorganize without the appearance of personal attacks,” the resolution states.

The resolution states that accreditation standards provide norms against which agency performance can be measured and monitored over time and that they also provide objective measures to justify decisions related to budget requests and personnel policies.

Councilman Jaye Sims, who serves on the public safety committee, said accreditation was an idea that was discussed by council members.

“We felt this was a good direction to head toward because it will make everything uniform, i.e., policies, and other ways to handle things. Many other agencies have done this. In fact, the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office is an accredited agency,” Sims said. Contact Clare Marie Celano at ccelano@gmnews.com.

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