Bernards township police
POLICE, FIRE, OR MEDICAL EMERGENCY:
Chief of Police
Deputy Chief Eric Geleta
Lieutenant Christopher Hurst
Professional Standards Division Commander
Lieutenant Mike Sweeney
Detective Bureau Division Commander
Patrol Division Commander
Lieutenant Glen Amerman
Traffic/Services Division Commander
It is the mission and vision of the Bernards Township Police Department to safeguard the lives and property of the people we serve, to reduce incidence of crime, and to enhance the public safety while working with our citizens to improve their quality of life. Our mandate is to do so with honor and integrity, while at all times conducting ourselves with the highest ethical standards to maintain public confidence.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Bernards Township Police Records Bureau is open Monday through Friday from 8:30am- 4:30pm. Some reports may require that you fill out an Open Public Records Request. Copies of reports may be obtained by contacting the Records Bureau at 908-766-1122 or emailing email@example.com.
Requests for Body Worn Camera (BWC) footage will incur a special service charge due to the extraordinary expenditure of time and effort needed to fulfill these requests. Requestors will be charged eighty dollars ($80) per hour, or fraction thereof, of BWC footage requested. This fee considers the time required for personnel to review BWC video for privacy concerns, tag the videos with the identified privacy concerns, then apply redactions consistent with NJ Attorney General guidance. The requestor will be provided with an estimated cost prior to fulfilling the request and must remit payment prior the request being fulfilled.
The Deputy Chief is the department's Operations Officer and assists the Chief of Police in running the day-to-day operations of the police department. The deputy chief also directly oversees the division commanders. Additionally, the deputy chief is responsible for the internal affairs function, policy development, reviewing all firearms applications, administering grants and expungement compliance. The deputy chief is also the police department's liaison to Human Resources.
The Patrol Division is the largest police division and is responsible for the performance of all primary police tasks. In Bernards Township, patrol officers are assigned to a designated section of the Township in a marked vehicle to preserve law and order. Some examples of a patrol officer's tasks are to prevent and discover the commission of a crime direct traffic and to enforce motor vehicle operation, parking regulations and criminal laws; to answer calls and complaints involving first aid calls, motor vehicle accidents, and various types of criminal activities; to conduct preliminary investigations, gather evidence, make arrests and transport prisoners to and from jail; provide testimony in court; to complete all reports as required; and to accept assignment to work in a variety of specialized units within the Department. The patrol officer is under the direct supervision of the Patrol Sergeant and Patrol Corporal.
The Patrol Sergeant provides direct supervision to patrol officers, serves as a backup unit and carries out the duties of the officer in charge. Other responsibilities of the Patrol Sergeant include supervising an assigned squad of officers; to direct, review and coordinate the work of personnel assigned to his/her squad; to instruct subordinate officers and civilian personnel as to work assignments and procedures in patrol, investigations, traffic or other assigned areas; to supervise and participate in criminal investigations; to receive complaints or reports of emergencies; and determine need for action and direct subordinates in handling difficult problems. The Patrol Sergeant is the first line of supervision within the Department and answers to the Patrol Lieutenant
The function of the Detective Division is to investigate crimes, suspicious incidents and missing persons, concerning both juveniles and adults. Other peripheral duties include assisting patrol officers in the performance of their duties when needed, with such activities as transporting prisoners; to photograph motor vehicle accident scenes; to prepare drug and other evidence for submittal to various forensic laboratories; to take civilian fingerprints; to prepare indictable arrest cases for submittal to the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office for prosecution in Superior Court, and the handling of all juvenile cases.
When investigating a crime or incident a detective must perform many of the following functions: to speak with victim(s); to speak with witness(es); to interview/interrogate suspect(s) within the parameters of the law; to photograph the scene; to examine the scene for evidence including latent and microscopic evidence; to collect any evidence; to properly package and label evidence; to examine evidence through chemical and other processes and attempt to connect a suspect; to package evidence for forensic laboratory; to take formal tape recorded statements from suspect(s), victim(s), and/or witness(es); to take elimination fingerprints from victims; to apply for, obtain, and execute court orders, search warrants, grand jury subpoenas, and court subpoenas if needed; to obtain assistance from outside agencies when necessary; to maintain an accurate report of activities pertaining to the investigation; to conduct surveillance of suspect(s); to contact and work with other police agencies investigating similar crimes; and ultimately produce a detailed investigative record.
The Bernards Township Police Traffic Safety and Services Division is comprised of a Lieutenant, and two patrol officers. The Division has the responsibility of ensuring the free flow of traffic through the Township; the safety of the public using the roads within the Township; and the prevention of accidents. This is accomplished by the enforcement of State/Municipal Motor Vehicle Law/Ordinances, educating the public, participating in AAA Holiday Safety Programs and providing information to local newspapers. To educate motorists, the Traffic Division uses two visual aids: two portable RADAR display unit and pedestrian safety signs. The portable RADAR display units are battery powered and are used throughout the Township. They advise oncoming traffic of its speed, alert drivers to slow down, and observe the posted speed limit.
The Professional Standards Division is responsible for administering the agencies compliance with agency’s Accreditation status. Accreditation is a method of helping law enforcement agencies calculate and improve their overall performances. The foundation of Accreditation lies in the adoption of standards containing a clear statement of professional objectives. Participating agencies conduct a thorough self-analysis to determine how existing operations can be adapted to meet these objectives. When the procedures are in place, a team of trained assessors verifies that applicable standards have been successfully implemented. Accreditation status represents a significant professional achievement. Accreditation acknowledges the implementation of policies and procedures that are conceptually sound and operationally effective. The Bernards Township Police Department has been Accredited since 2007.
The Professional Standards Division Commander is also responsible for overseeing all police training, the police records function, Open Public Records Act (OPRA) compliance.