TOMS RIVER – Ocean County Bradley Billhimer and members the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office were presented with re-Accreditation through the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police through its New Jersey Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission (NJSACOP).
The OCPO was presented with this recognition at the April 17 meeting of the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders by Accreditation Program Director Harry DelGado.
“Receiving re-accreditation is no small task,” said Ocean County Freeholder John P. Kelly, Director of Law and Public Safety. “This is an arduous process that looks at all of the actions taken by our top law enforcement agency.
The OCPO received re-accreditation after successfully complying with 112 standards. These include assessments of administration, personnel, operations, investigations and other functions.
“I couldn’t be more proud of this office,” Billhimer said. “We work as a team to uphold the standards we are governed by and ultimately it shows our commitment to perform at the highest level of excellence in our field.
“This Re-Accreditation exemplifies not just compliance but out willingness to go above and beyond in our efforts to protect and serve the citizens of Ocean County,” Billhimer added.
According to the NJSACOP, accreditation is a progressive and time-proven way of helping law enforcement agencies calculate and improve their overall performances. Law enforcement agencies that are awarded with accreditation conduct a thorough self-analysis to determine how existing operations can be adapted to meet certain professional objectives. This status acknowledges the implementation of policies and procedures that are conceptually sound and operationally effective in a law enforcement agency.
“Accreditation results in greater accountability within the agency, reduced risk and liability exposure, increased community advocacy, and more confidence in the agency’s ability to operate efficiently and respond to community needs,” said DelGado. “Only 4 percent of the agencies that apply for a second reaccreditation get this far.”
Not only this, but in 2018, the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Digital Forensic Laboratory was awarded accreditation by the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation making it and its’ mobile forensic unit, the first non-federal digital forensic crime laboratory in the state of New Jersey and only county prosecutor run lab to be accredited.
“Our law enforcement agencies are hardworking and dedicated to protecting the citizens of Ocean County,” said Ocean County Freeholder Director Virginia E. Haines. “This re-accreditation highlights the diligent approach taken by Prosecutor Billhimer and his team to make certain we continue to meet national standards and remain committed to our citizens.”
The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office complied with 112 standards in order to receive re-accreditation.
The NJSACOP reviews the standards following accreditation for three years.
“The accreditation assessment team is composed of law enforcement practitioners from similar New Jersey law enforcement agencies,” said Delgado. “The assessors review written materials, interview agency members and visit offices and other places where compliance with the standards can be observed. Once the commission’s assessors complete their review of the agency, they report to the full Commission, which then decides if the agency is to be granted accredited status.”