Five years after it first became an accredited agency, the Saugerties Police Department once again opened its evidence vault and records from the last five years to members of the state Division of Criminal Justices Services Accreditation Department. Their findings were announced on Sept. 20.
“I’ve been doing this for 11 years, and the Saugerties Town Police Department is one of the best agencies I’ve assessed,” said Assessment Leader James LaFarr, who works for the Warren County Sheriff’s Department. “Their morale is high, from the chief down to the civilian employees. They’re a credit to the town that they serve — I can tell you that I’m going to recommend that they be reaccredited.”
According to Police Chief Joseph Sinagra, the department was praised for the organization of their evidence vault.
“I was really proud when the assessors told our town supervisors that the maintenance of our evidence vault should be used as an example for other agencies in the state,” he said. “We’ve gone to a system where everything is bar-coded. We have to maintain the integrity of that evidence to make sure [evidence hasn’t been] tampered with.”
One hundred and ten standards need to be met by a police department to earn accredited status; only one in three departments within the state have done so. Although the department seems to have passed with flying colors, the results of the investigation won’t be released until December.