For the first time in Ocean County history, a police force achieves National Law Enforcement Accreditation. The Barnegat Police Department joins an elite group of  departments in the state who managed to meet all 479 professional standards set out by Commission of Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA).

The process leading up to the accreditation was a three year period where hundreds of agency procedures, rules, and policies were amended and improved in order to be up to snuff with the standards laid out by CALEA. All of the departments' preparation culminated with a three day on-site assessment in August, where CALEA assessors went over everything.

The decision to go through the arduous compliance processes was that of Barnegat's police chief Arthur Drexler who felt that the department had the potential to meet the rigorous standards set out by the commission. The hefty list of 479 standards included reviews of vital things like personnel structure and process, operations and support, traffic operations, detainee ad court related activities, and auxiliary and technical services.

Lieutenant Kieth Germaine says the three years spent meeting the standards of CALEA weren't easy, however gaining the honor of accreditation " is an assurance both to the members of agency and more importantly to the members of the community that our department meets the highest standards and the best practices in law enforcement."

The benefits Barnegat's residence will now get are substantial. In addition to the pride of having a police force in the state's upper echelon, accreditation includes: reduced risk and liability exposure, reduction in liability insurance premiums and deductibles, stronger defense against civil lawsuits. All of those will result in savings for the department that in turn mean savings for the taxpayers.

Now that Barnegat has the distinction of accreditation, their responsibility is far from over. According to Lt. Germaine they will continue upholding the Commission's standards and prepare to meet accreditation in the next three years.