North Brunswick Police Department becomes accredited agency

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NORTH BRUNSWICK – Director Kenneth McCormick and the command staff of the North Brunswick Police Department stood before the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police Accreditation Board on Oct. 17 for their final board review, learning the department unanimously received its first three-year accreditation.

“It seemed like the right time, with everything going on with policing and public trust. It seemed like the right time to push this forward,” McCormick said.

The police department employed the services of The Rodgers Group, as well as Lt. Gina Braconi as the accreditation manager, to help meet the 105 standards set forth by the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police, such as those related to arrests, handcuffing, pursuits, reporting mechanisms, evidence collection, search and seizure, use of force, etc.

State chiefs then did an on-site assessment, checking the building, taking ride alongs, reviewing policies and procedures and recording public comments.

“They want to see not only your policies but that you are adhering to policies according to their standards,” McCormick said.

After the chiefs write a report, the department is given a chance to address any concerns and then schedule the hearing.

“We didn’t have any deficiencies in our report,” Deputy Chief Joseph Battaglia said.

The process took just about a year.

As a result of the accreditation, the department will now have a lower insurance premium and more protection for officers in the event of litigation, McCormick said. It also increases morale for officers and professionalizes the agency, he said.

“We are happy our policies were pretty up-to-date,” McCormick said. “It’s something we were trying to achieve for many years, and we are proud we could get everybody to do it. Everybody in the department had to demonstrate we were doing this, so it’s a department-wide effort.”

Contact Jennifer Amato at jamato@newspapermediagroup.com.