The Moorestown Township Police Department has joined an elite group. At the most recent meeting of Moorestown Township Council, the department received its certificate of accreditation from the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police.
Harry Delgado, director of accreditation for the NJSACOP, was in attendance to present the certificate to Chief Lee Lieber and Accreditation Manager Lt. Michael Maahs. Delgado said the accreditation process is a way to measure a department’s performance against an established set of state and national standards.
“It’s a feat that has only been accomplished by about one-third of the law enforcement agencies in the state,” Delgado said.
Delgado said accreditation is a “progressive and time-proven” way of helping law enforcement agencies gauge and improve their performance. Earning accreditation can take up to two years.
At the end of the process, members of the NJSACOP make a site visit at which time the agency has to demonstrate proof of compliance with 105 standards – many of which require multiple lines of proof.
He said they give every agency a thorough examination, and by the end, they typically find some sort of issue.
“We found no issues which we need to address, which is truly remarkable for a first attempt at accreditation,” Delgado said.
Over the course of its visit, the agency reported the Moorestown Police Department is a professional organization with disciplined personnel, Delgado said. He described the leadership as “forward-thinking,” citing their reinstatement of the canine and motor units as examples. He said, overall, the department exemplifies the tenets of law enforcement.
Delgado said research shows that accredited agencies have 11 percent fewer professional liability claims, 18 percent fewer working compensations claims and 31 percent fewer auto liability claims. He said accredited agencies are better able to defend against lawsuits and complaints because they have a proven record of excellence. He said government officials can also feel more confident in an agency’s ability to operate efficiently and meet the community’s needs.
Lieber thanked Delgado for helping them through the process.
“It was almost a two-year project; it was a very strenuous project,” Lieber said.
He also gave special recognition to Maahs who served as the department’s accreditation manager. Lieber said without Maahs’ hard work, they would not have earned accreditation.
Those in attendance gave the department a standing ovation after Delgado’s presentation.
In other news:
- Mayor Lisa Petriello presented representatives from Moorestown Township Public School’s Special Education Advocacy Council with a proclamation for Autism Awareness Month. She said the organization works to promote an atmosphere of open communication, understanding and respect. The proclamation declared April as “Autism Awareness Month” and recognized SpEAC for its continued educational programs and outreach to the community.
- The Moorestown Department of Parks and Recreation also earned proclamations. The department was recognized for “Excellence in Educational & Interpretive Programming” for its recreation community kitchen as well as for “Excellence in Visual & Cultural Programming” for “The Art of Polynesia” by the New Jersey Recreation & Park Association.
- The next meeting of Moorestown Township Council will take place on Monday, April 28 at 7:30 p.m. in Town Hall.