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Mahwah Police Granted National Accreditation, Again

Only 5% of law enforcement agencies in the country achieve the national standard. The Mahwah Police Department was just awarded its fourth consecutive accreditation.

For the fourth time, the Mahwah Police Department has achieved national accreditation, Chief James Batelli announced in a release Thursday. The PD had to meet over 400 performance standards in order to qualify for the recognition, which was granted at the winter meeting of the CALEA Commission, Batelli said.

Developed in 1984, the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, or CALEA, outlines international standards for law enforcement agencies of different types and sizes. If an agency can prove during a review process that it is in compliance with all of the standards, it becomes an “accredited” agency. The Mahwah PD was first accredited in 2003, then again in 2006 and 2009. This year’s accreditation renewal will last another three years.

The commission granted the renewal after a four-day on-site assessment in March, solicitation of resident reviews of the police department, and interviews about the PD’s assessment with Batelli and Accreditation Manager Mahwah Sgt. Robert Curtis.

"Simply put, there is no higher achievement in the law enforcement community,” Batelli said in the release. Only about 2% of all police agencies in the state and 5% in the country achieve the national accreditation, he said.

The cost to the township for becoming accredited is just over $10,000. According to Batelli, “the end result is a better police force. Every time we’ve gone through this process, we have improved how the agency operates,” he said.

In addition, the accreditation also allows for the township to get a “significantly lower” insurance premium from Mahwah’s insurance carrier, Batelli said.

Mayor Bill Laforet released a statement commending the department for the reaccreditation.

“I understand it is a tremendous amount of work to achieve this goal, but…it assures me that the taxpayers of this community are receiving professional services from our police force and they operate in an accountable and transparent manner,” he said. “It is truly a tremendous accomplishment by the entire agency.”

Batelli reiterated a sentiment he’s expressed throughout the accreditation process – that every member of the police force contributes to the recognition.

“The goal would never be achieved without the work and dedication of each and every officer of the agency. [They are] all committed to the mission statement of the agency.”

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fastharry November 30, 2012 at 12:59 PM
I was at the public hearing. After reading the article in The Record, I went to see Sergeant Curtis for info on the whole process. I was proud to go and was slightly taken aback that there were so few people there. A few seniors, an EMT from Ridgewood and myself. I thought the whole process was great and was glad to get up and talk about my lifelong POSITIVE experience with the MPD..both the good and mischievous as a kid bad times, LOL...( including an episodic 130 mph speed run past Pals Diner in 1977 on a Kawasaki 900)...in all these instances I was treated fairly and with respect. When I suffered a heart attack a couple of years ago, the MPD and EMT's were there in a flash providing great care. I was proud to go, to meet the Chief and the the hearing board, and to share with all of them what a great job they do. I hope next time everyone in town will remember Sandy and the great response of our town PD and go to the hearing when it comes up again.. GO MPD!
Kim November 30, 2012 at 01:06 PM
Way to go! Congratulations Mahwah PD! We are very proud of you and honored to have you protecting me & my family as well as all the residents of Mahwah!
Mrs Ddh Smith December 01, 2012 at 11:23 PM
Happy to be a part of this wonderful community. Thank you MPD and Congratulation!!!

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