Thursday, August 25th, 2016
The Morris County Prosecutor’s Office this week received it official re-accreditation from the New Jersey Police State Association of Police Chiefs, with a certificate for a three-year accreditation renewal presented on Wednesday at a meeting of the Morris County Board of Freeholders in Morristown.
Harry Delgado, accreditation manager for the Chiefs Association (NJSACOP), made the presentation to Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp, who was joined by Prosecutor’s Chief of Investigations John Speirs, Denville Police Chief and Past President of the State Chiefs Association Chris Wagner, and members of the prosecutor’s staff.
Delgado explained that accredited status represents a significant professional achievement. Accreditation acknowledges the implementation of policies and procedures that are conceptually sound and operationally effective, and allows law enforcement agencies to calculate and improve their overall performance.
“It is not an easy process,” said Delgado. “We take a very hard look at how the agency is run, and try very hard find issues and problems. It is certainly not easy to get accredited, and even more difficult to be re-accredited.
The accreditation program consists of 105 professional standards, many of which have multiple objectives. The program consists of five primary areas including, administrative, personnel, operations, investigative, and arrest handling.
It requires three-year internal analysis of agency operations to ensure that policies and procedures are current, reflect societal demands, and are consistent with best practices for law enforcement. After the three-year internal process, a team of NJSACOP trained and independent assessors review the policies, procedures and agency operations as a whole.
To become re-accredited, the policies and procedures must be approved by the assessors, and there must be definitive proof of personnel adherence.
The Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, initially accredited in 2013, was approved for re-accreditation by the NJSACOP Board on June 9, 2016.
NJSACOP details the importance and meaning of accreditation in a formal policy statement:
“The attitudes, training and actions of personnel of New Jersey’s law enforcement agencies best reflect compliance with the standards contained in this program. Policy and procedure based on accreditation will not insure mistake-free policing or a crime-free environment for citizens. Nor will it ensure an absence of litigation against law enforcement agencies and executives.
“However, comprehensive and effective leadership through professionally based policy development is directly influenced by a law enforcement program that is thorough, complete, and obtainable, and based on standards that reflect professional best practices.
Inquiries should be directed to Prosecutor’s Public Information Officer Paul Merkler at [email protected] or 973-285-6215.