The Mahwah Police Department is one of a minority of New Jersey Police agencies that correctly accepts complaints about police conduct, according to a study recently conducted by New Jersey Public Radio and the ACLU.
In the study, the ACLU called 497 police departments in New Jersey and asked officers five questions about filing complaints - if a complaint could be filed anonymously, by telephone, by a third-party, by a juvenile without his or her parents and if an undocumented immigrant could file a complaint without fear that immigration authorities will be contacted.
According to a release from the agency, a majority of agencies in the state answered at least one of the "basic" questions incorrectly.
In Bergen County, 21 of the 69 police departments answered all five questions correctly, and Mahwah was one of them.
“I reviewed the recent findings of the ACLU on compliance with Internal Affairs Guidelines and was pleased to see that our agency received a perfect score,” Mahwah Police Chief James Batelli said Wednesday. “I think that score demonstrates our strict adherence to the stringent guidelines that are set forth by the New Jersey Attorney General.”
Batelli also commented that residents should know that if they are not happy with an encounter they have with a Mahwah police officer, their complaints, “will be handled in a professional manner…I am extremely proud of the conduct of our officers.”
Other nearby towns that also received perfect scores include Midland Park, Paramus, Waldwick and Woodcliff Lake. See the full list here.