After over a year of preparation by Manchester's law enforcement officials, a team of assessors will visit the township's police department in late-September to determine if the 112 standards for accreditation have been met.
The department's push for accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, a national nonprofit organization created in 1979, began last summer as an effort to save the township on insurance costs while ensuring that procedures and policies are up to the highest standards, Chief of Police Brian Klimakowski has said.
This week, Klimakowski announced that assessors from the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police will come to Manchester on Sunday, Sept. 30 to inspect the department.
"Verification by the team that the Manchester Township Police meet the Commission’s 'best practice' standards is part of a voluntary process to achieve accreditation, a highly prized recognition of law enforcement professional excellence," Klimakowski said in a statement.
Employees and community members can call 732-849-8359 on Monday, Oct. 1, between 9 and 11 a.m. to offer comments. These telephone comments are limited to 5 minutes and "must address the agency’s ability to comply with the NJSACOP standards," according to the release.
The standards are available for public inspection at the police department headquarters located at 1 Colonial Dr. Lt. Todd Malland, who serves as Manchester's accreditation manager, can be contacted for more information at 732-657-2009, ext. 4104.
Written comments can be submitted to: New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police, Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission, C/O Harry Delgado, Accreditation Program Manager, 1 Greentree Centre, Suite 201, 10000 Lincoln Drive East, Marlton, NJ 08053.
In July, Malland said that final preparations were being made for the inspection.
"The assessors 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, accreditation program manager for NJSACOP. "Once the Commission’s assessors complete their review of the agency, they will report to the full Commission, which will then decide if the agency is to be granted accredited status."
After initial fees are paid, the department expects to save $15,000 each year in insurance payments by being accredited after three years. The department must maintain the standards and reapply for accreditation every three years, at a fee of $1,500.