This weekend the will be visited by a team of assessors from the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police (NJSACOP).
According to a press release from the department the team will be on hand "to examine all aspects of the Howell Township Police Department's policies and procedures, management, operations and support services.
Chief Ronald Carter said the assessment is not mandatory, but it is still an important process. "Verification by the team that the Howell Township Police Department meets the commission's 'best practices' standards is part of a voluntary process to achieve accreditation, a highly prized recognition of law enforcement professional excellence," he said.
To be accredited Chief Carter said the department has to meet 112 standards of the association. "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," he said.
The public can also be part of the process in two ways. On Monday morning those wishing to provide feedback are encouraged to call 732-919-2810 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Email comments can also be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Those providing comments by telephone are limited to five minutes and "must address the agency's ability to comply with the NJSACOP standards," the release said. Those standards are available at Police Headquarters at 300 Old Tavern Rd. or by calling Sgt. David Flaherty at 732-938-4575.
Written comments should be sent to Accreditation Program Manager Harry J. Delgado at email@example.com, by phone at 856-988-5880 or by writing the New Jersey State Association of Chief's of Police Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission at One Greentree Centre, Suite 201, Marlton NJ 08053.
Delgado said the process is an in depth one that looks at many facets of the department. "The assessment team is composed of law enforcement practitioners from similar New Jersey law enforcement agencies," he said. "The assessors will review written materials, interview agency members, and visit offices and other places where compliance standards can be observed."
He said once the team has collected all its information, "they will report to the full Commission, which will then decide if the agency is to be granted accredited status."
If granted, the accreditation is valid for three years but the department still has to submit annual reports to show their compliance with the programs.
For more information about the accreditation process write to the above Marlton address.