MAHWAH, N.J. -- Mahwah residents can rest easy knowing that crime is kept at bay thanks to their police force's attentiveness and helpful community outreach.
"Our safe community is something I am most proud of because it means more to our residents now, more than ever," said Mahwah Mayor Bill Laforet.
Covering 26 square-miles, Mahwah is about the size of Manhattan, which can be difficult to serve from a policing aspect. Strategically, the township divides the community into five separate sectors which are patrolled frequently to eliminate long response times for residents.
"As a community when you pick up the phone to make a call to an officer, how fast they arrive at your front door is vitally important," said Laforet.
In 2014, the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) named Mahwah the safest community in New Jersey, which Laforet considers "a badge of honor." CALEA accreditation, which takes place every three years, requires departments to meet 420 standards to become accredited. Fewer than 5 percent of police departments in the country meet the national standards to be considered.
"In addition to the rating, our community also has the experience of feeling safe because of the police outreach," said Laforet.
The Mahwah Police Department has several community outreach programs including the Junior Police Academy and the Youth Leadership Academy, where students live and coexist with officers for five days on a college campus.
"It's important to understand what police offers do, not only in an urgent situation, but to really realize that community outreach is so vitally important," said Laforet.
To learn more about Bill Laforet and his plans for Mahwah, click here.