Princeton Police Department seeks re-accreditation

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Residents who want to weigh in on the Princeton Police Department, which is seeking renewal of its accreditation, may do so through a short telephone call to an assessment team April 12.

The Princeton Police Department gained its initial accreditation by the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police in 2014. Its accreditation was renewed in 2017 and 2020. Accreditation is valid for three years, which means the Princeton Police Department is up for reaccreditation.

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During its onsite visit to the Princeton Police Department, the assessment team will listen to comments from the public between 10-11 a.m. April 12. Callers may contact the team at 609-921-2100, ext. 1867.

Employees and the public may also email comments to Lt. Matthew Solovay at msolovay@princetonnj.gov., or to Harry Delgado, the accreditation program director at the New Jersey State Association of Police Chiefs, at hdelgado@njsacop.org.

Letters also may be mailed to the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police, Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission, at 751 Route 73 North, Suite 12, Marlton, NJ 08053.

The assessment team is made up of law enforcement officers from similar law enforcement agencies, Delgado said.

The assessors will review written material and interview police department employees. They will visit offices and other places where compliance with the standards can be observed, Delgado said.

Once the assessment team completes its review of the Princeton Police Department, it will report to the full commission. The commission will decide whether the police department should be granted accredited status.

Verification by the team that the Princeton Police Department meets the commission’s “best practices” standards is part of a voluntary process to remain as an accredited police department, said Police Chief Jon Bucchere.

“Accreditation is a highly prized recognition of law enforcement professional excellence,” Bucchere said.

Accreditation results in greater accountability within the police department, reduced risk and liability exposure, and stronger defense against civil lawsuits, he said.

“It also results in increased community advocacy, and more confidence in the police department’s ability to operate efficiently and respond to community needs,” Bucchere said.

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