Hillsborough residents encouraged to provide public comment for police process

The Hillsborough Township Police Department will begin a process of accreditation through the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police (SACOP).

And the police are is encouraging public participation.

Township police officials said a team of assessors from the SACOP are planned to be present on March 9 to examine all aspects of the Hillsborough Township Police Department’s policies and procedures, management, operations and support services. Accreditation is defined as a method of assisting law enforcement agencies to calculate and improve their overall performance.

Participating agencies conduct a self-analysis to determine how existing operations can be adapted to meet standards and objectives.

“Verification by the team that the Hillsborough Township Police Department meets the commission’s ‘best practice’ standards is part of a voluntary process to achieve accreditation, a highly prized recognition of law enforcement professional excellence,” Hillsborough Township Chief of Police Michael McMahon said in a statement.

Officials explained that as part of this final on-site assessment, employees and members of the general public are invited to provide comments to the assessment team. Residents can participate in this process via telephone or email.

The public may call 908-369-4323 (Ext. 7646) on March 9 between the hours of 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. Comments via email can be sent to mcmahonm@hillsboroughpd.org.

Officials said telephone comments are limited to five minutes and must address the agency’s ability to comply with the NISACOP standards. A copy of the standards is available for inspection at the Hillsborough Township Police Department, 379 South Branch Road. Contact McMahon at 908-369-4323 (Ext. 7615) for more information.

For written comments about the police department’s ability to comply with the standards for accreditation, email the Accreditation Program Director at hdelgado@nisacop.org or write the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police, Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission at 751 Route 73 North, Suite 12 Marlton.

“The Hillsborough Township Police Department must comply with NJSACOP LEAP standards in order to achieve accredited status,” McMahon said. “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.”

Officials explained the assessment team is composed of law enforcement practitioners from similar New Jersey law enforcement agencies, and the assessors will review written materials, interview agency members, and visit offices and other places where compliance with the standards can be observed.

Accreditation is valid for a three-year period during which time the agency must submit annual reports attesting to their continued compliance with those standards under which it was initially accredited, according to officials.