The city’s police department became the largest municipal law enforcement agency in the Garden State to be accredited by the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police, said police director Jerry Speziale.
“Being recognized by such a noteworthy organization, such as the state Chiefs of police Association is truly an honor bestowed upon the men and women of the department,” said Speziale. “Such recognition is just another great achievement by the men and women of the department and well deserved.”
The accreditation status represents a police agency that has conceptually sound policies and procedures in place to ensure continued operationally effective policing, according to the association. The much coveted accreditation process took 14 months to obtain and a great deal of hard work from the personnel of the police department, said the director.
Speziale said the process was completed under the watch of police chief William Fraher with lieutenant Joseph Sportelli acting as the project coordinator between the city’s department and the association that bestowed the sought after designation.
The accreditation process covers a laundry list of issues like use of force, training, discipline, internal affairs, victim and witnesses assistance, traffic operations, records and communication, collection and preservation of evidence, and property and evidence control, according to the association’s accreditation manual.
The association reviews and checks all of the aforementioned areas to ensure an agency is employing the best professional practices in police management, administration, operation, and support services.
A team from the association conducted interviews with police officers, went on ride-alongs, reviewed departmental policies, observed shift changes, and conducted other assessments to ensure high operational standards before awarding the honor.
Speziale said employing these high standards reduce police related risks and liabilities for the municipality while delivering more efficient and effective policing for city residents. He said the department’s team work and participation from all members of the police force made the accreditation possible.
“The men and women of the Paterson Police Department worked tirelessly and are dedicated to the welfare of the citizens they serve,” said Speziale. “I have worked in many capacities and many places during my law enforcement career and it’s truly an honor to stand shoulder to shoulder and lead such fine law enforcement professionals.”
The prestigious accreditation status is for three years, after which, the city’s police department must arrange for an on-site team visit from the association which will review to see the police force is continuously employing the high standards that earned it the recognition before re-accrediting.