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‘Keep up the good work’

Lawrence Township Police Department gains reaccreditation

Lawrence Township Police Department patrol car

The Lawrence Township Police Department has been awarded reaccreditation by the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police.

The police department gained its initial accreditation in 2017 and was reaccredited in 2019. This is the third time that the police department has been through the accreditation process.

An assessment team from the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police visited the Lawrence Township Police Department in December 2022. The assessment team is made up of law enforcement officers from similar law enforcement agencies. It makes its recommendation to the full commission.

Harry Delgado, the accreditation program manager, awarded a plaque recognizing the police department’s achievement at the Lawrence Township Council’s July 18 meeting.

The Lawrence Township Police Department has joined a “very exclusive” club in gaining reaccreditation for a third time, Delgado said.

“About 32 percent of police departments are reaccredited for a second time, but only 19 percent are reaccredited for a third time,” he said.

The Lawrence Township Police Department gained its initial accreditation and subsequent accreditation by making a commitment to best practices at the state and national level in a highly regarded statewide law enforcement accreditation program, Delgado said.

The accreditation program is designed to enhance professionalism and transparency in the state’s public safety system, he said. Accreditation status is a significant professional achievement.

The foundation for accreditation lies in the adoption of 112 standards that contain a clear statement of professional objectives, Delgado said.

“During these uniquely challenging times and the threat to our health and safety, encouraging law enforcement agencies to follow standardized practices and policies is a potentially life-saving and cost-effective investment of time and resources,” Delgado said.

Accreditation embodies community-oriented policing, creating a forum in which police and citizens work together to prevent and control challenges confronting law enforcement. It provides clear direction about community expectations.

“Under the leadership of Police Chief Christopher Longo, the Lawrence Township Police Department demonstrates a high level of competence, leadership and professionalism,” he said.

The Lawrence Township Police Department is effectively addressing the areas of recruitment and staffing; property and records management; training; and technology and social media, he said.

“I was very impressed in the way that Chief Longo addresses the issues – straightforward and with no hesitation,” Delgado said.

Longo, in turn, praised police Lt. Michael Whitmore, who is the police department’s accreditation manager. He also praised the police officers and everyone who contributed to making the accreditation process work.

Mayor John Ryan thanked Longo and the police department on behalf of the Lawrence Township Council.

“What a great job you and your command staff and all of your officers did. This is top notch. You are doing a fabulous job. Keep up the good work,” Ryan said.

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