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'How Are We Doing?' Bergen County Sheriff Asks

Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino with his "Chief For A Day" Justin Pagan.
Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino with his "Chief For A Day" Justin Pagan. Photo Credit: Matt Speiser

HACKENSACK, N.J. – Bergen County residents and merchants are invited to give their opinion of the county sheriff’s office as part of a process known as accreditation.

Department members are encouraged to call, as well, during the designated phone-in period from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. this Friday, Dec. 16.

Comments are limited to five minutes and must address the agency’s ability to comply with the accreditation standards.

The number: (201) 336-3505

Ask to speak with Officer Lauren Barbosa.

Or email her: lbarbosa@bcsd.us

The New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police, which coordinates the program, will examine “all aspects of [the office’s] policies and procedures, management, operations, and support services,” during a visit this Thursday, Sheriff Michael Saudino said.

Law enforcement agencies prize the designation for several reasons.

Although it hasn’t been proven to directly improve police response time or reduce crime, accreditation does help taxpayers by reducing risk and liability exposure and providing a stronger defense against civil lawsuits.

It also demands greater accountability within an agency while publicly sending a message that it's committed to professionalism — the same as colleges and other institutions do.

The department must meet standards in 105 areas.

The review team, made up of law enforcement officers from similar agencies, will “review written materials, interview agency members and visit offices and other places where compliance with the standards can be observed,” said Harry J. Delgado, the program manager.

They'll report to the commission, which determines whether to grant accreditation.

Those who favor accreditation say it’s one thing to have guidelines but another to have them sanctioned by such a respected authority. Accreditation is valid for a three-year period, during which the agency must submit annual reports.

For more information, you can contact NJSACOP directly. Email hdelgado@njsacop.org , call (856) 334-8943 or write to the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police, Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission, 751 Route 73 North West, Suite 12, Marlton, N.J. 08053.

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