MADISON, NJ - The Police Department received an Accreditation Award from a state representative at Monday's council meeting. The department is one of 172 accredited departments, out of 438 that would be eligible. The department met state and national standards and displayed excellence in leadership, research management and other areas. The two-year process included a physical inspection by the state and the need to meet 105 standards.  

Police Chief Darren Dachisen accepted the award and recognized Lieutenant Joseph Longo as being instrumental in the process. 

Samuel Mantone was also given a medallion for his efforts with Patriotic Celebrations from 2009 to 2016 at the meeting.

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Police and Fire Department Council Presentation

Fire Chief Lou De Rosa gave an overview of the Fire Department’s accomplishments, goals and budget requests. Important areas, he said, are to attract and retain volunteers, to keep morale high and apply for grants. He noted the 1990 engine will need to be replaced and added “nothing is cheap with fire trucks.” He has budgeted $225,000 a year over the next three years to replace the 1990 engine 3.  The operating budget is staying flat, he said. Salaries have contracted increases. The department conducted 585 commercial inspections, 70 safe housing inspections and 523 EMT calls as well as fire safety programs for children and adults.

Police Chief Dachisen said his total number of employees is 83, with 37 part time, 10 volunteers, and 28 sworn and 8 non-sworn.  Of 2016 statistics compared to 2015, he noted that theft/motor vehicle theft has increased from 59 to 83, aggravated assault on police has increased from 1 to 9, with one officer having a severely broken leg; firearms applicant investigations went from 139 to 249. Overtime has been reduced, for a savings of $105,000.  

The Chief said that the Toys for Tots Drive is a strong community outreach program. Police have attended funerals in Dallas, Baton Rouge, Des Moines and Atlantic City. He would like to establish an Explorer Post within the department to interact with youth. Dachisen said he is requesting body worn cameras through a $20,000 grant. The five-year capital improvement plan includes $200,000 for new portable radios for each officer and in 2020, $40,000 for a parking shelter for patrol vehicles. He said that would help in protecting vehicles during snowstorms and other events. His wish list, he said, would be a parking garage. He said as vehicles age, their mileage and repair cuts go up.