On Thursday, February 14th, 2013, the Ridgefield Park Police Department became an accredited law enforcement agency. Chief Edward Rose appeared at a public hearing before the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission along with other members of his staff. At the conclusion of the hearing, the commission voted to grant accreditation status to the Ridgefield Park Police Department.
The Ridgefield Park Police Department is now an accredited law enforcement agency and becomes part of an elite group of only 11 of 68 law enforcement agencies in Bergen County to receive Accreditation status. In the state of New Jersey, there are over 550 law enforcement agencies and only about 93 of those agencies are currently accredited.
After many years of discussions, the Ridgefield Park Police Department officially embarked on the accreditation process in June 2010 when Chief Rose was sworn in as Chief of Police. Captain Dan Hippe was named the Accreditation Manager and Sgt. Art Jensen was named the Assistant Accreditation Manager. These two officers were instrumental in keeping our agency on track to compete this project.
Chief Rose said the department conducted an in depth review of every aspect of the agency’s organization, management, operations and administration and after these internal reviews decided to begin the accreditation process by implementing a new, computerized, written directive system. “Numerous towns hired an outside agency to assist with policy development but we felt that it was best for our agency to write all our policies from the “bottom up” ourselves. This was a long, arduous 2 ½ year task, but we felt the end result was the best option for our department”.
The Department funded the Accreditation project by utilizing approximately $46,800.00 of the agencies forfeited funds managed by the BC Prosecutor’s Office. By using these funds, there was NO cost to the Ridgefield Park taxpayers. These funds allowed the Ridgefield Park Police Department to: purchase and implement a computerized written directive system, the building of a new Evidence room and Seabox container, a new state of the art computerized evidence program, and all the fees incurred to enter the accreditation process.
The accreditation process validates that the Ridgefield Park Police Department is following the best practices in law enforcement. Some other benefits of the program include:
- Greater accountability within the agency
- Reduced risk and liability exposure
- Stronger defense against civil lawsuits
- Savings on Insurance Premiums
Chief Rose stated that he is extremely proud of the men and women in the Ridgefield Park Police Department who bought into this process from its inception. All personnel had a stake in this process and due to their professionalism we were able to take the accreditation process from an idea to a reality. The Department has chosen this new path and now must prepare for re-accreditation every three years.