Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Pal Park to Vote on 3 Measures on Police Internal Procedures

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Pal Park to Vote on 3 Measures on Police Internal Procedures

Article excerpt

PALISADES PARK -- The Borough Council is scheduled to adopt a trio of ordinances today that include adding a workplace harassment policy to the police manual, as well as a rule preventing rank-and- file officers from recording conversations with one another.

"Our policy and procedures are somewhat outdated, and this is nothing other than keeping up with some of the trends that are trending in other departments," Chief Benjamin Ramos said Monday. "The goal is to try to establish and develop a functional set of policies and procedures that we can adapt to and become part of our police manual."

The council is also set to adopt the attorney general's policy and procedures for internal affairs investigations for the police department. Ramos said the department has always used the attorney general's guidelines, but the council never formally adopted them.

"We've always practiced by the guidelines, but it's officially going on the record where we are now adopting it by ordinance," Ramos said.

He said the move to adopt the guidelines was spurred by a review of internal affairs policies by the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office.

Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli said Monday in an email that his office recently completed a review of all local police departments' internal affairs guidelines and written procedures to ensure they were in compliance.

A second ordinance that the council will consider aims to deal with harassment in the workplace. Ramos said the borough has a harassment policy in effect, but the measure scheduled to be voted on was specifically crafted for the police department.

"It was absolutely necessary for the fundamental reason that we never had a departmental policy that spells it and outlines it, and this really spells it out," Ramos said.

Penalties detailed

The electronic monitoring policy would prohibit employees of the police department from surreptitiously recording conversations of personnel in the department. …

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