Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, Sheriff’s Department To Seek Accreditation

MIDDLESEX COUNTY — Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan and Sheriff Mildred S. Scott announced today that they have enrolled the county’s two law enforcement agencies in a prestigious program they say will strengthen and improve overall law enforcement operations and services.

Their decision, approved by the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders at its meeting on Dec. 15, 2011, would enable the two agencies to seek accreditation through the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police.

The accreditation process involves an intensive review of police procedures and raises the bar for police performance by creating more professional police departments that follow strict guidelines.

The review and upgrading of police services touches upon 112 areas of police procedure and performance, and covers every aspect of police work, including such areas as arrests, pursuits, handling of juveniles and planning for major events.

Key to the program is placing all procedures in writing, so officers have clear and uniform guidelines that adhere to the best practices in law enforcement.

“The process takes about 18 months of review and training before accreditation is awarded, but the rewards are substantial,” Kaplan said. “Police departments that gain accreditation are more professional and disciplined,” he added.

“Accreditation is a coveted award that symbolizes professionalism, excellence and competence. Employees will take more pride in the agency, knowing that it represents the very best in law enforcement. This accreditation process will also allow us to provide more effective and efficient services to the public,” Scott said.

“The county has always made resident safety a priority,” said Middlesex County Freeholder H. James Polos, chair of the county’s Public Safety and Health Committee. “Gaining accreditation will put our county law enforcement agencies in a special category above the national standard.”

“The accreditation program sets high standards for law enforcement,” said Middlesex County Freeholder Director Christopher D. Rafano. “I anticipate our agencies will not only meet the standards of this accreditation program, but exceed them.”

During the process, participating agencies conduct a thorough self-analysis and revise and implement operational procedures in order to meet compliance with program guidelines. Once changes are implemented, a team of trained assessors reviews and verifies the results.

“Law enforcement agencies that meet these standards are better prepared to protect and serve their communities,” Kaplan said.

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