On behalf of the employees of the Maple Shade Police Department, I want to thank you for taking time to visit our website.
My name is Christopher Fletcher and I am the Chief of Police for the Maple Shade Police Department. As an agency, we are committed to delivering services to the community in a fair, impartial and balanced way. We also want to ensure we tackle issues that focus on the quality of life for all individuals who live, work, travel through and worship in Maple Shade.
As we enter 2020 and a new decade, we face many challenges in navigating an ever changing societal landscape. In my role as Chief of Police, I am committed to meeting those challenges head on and to provide the direction and leadership necessary for our agency to embrace its role as guardians in partnering with the community that we serve.
As an agency, we have embraced the principles of the 21st Century Task Force on Policing by focusing on the key tenets outlined therein. In addition, we recognize that we draw our legal authority from the citizens that we serve and also from the United States Constitution and the New Jersey Constitution. We will defend and protect the principles articulated in those guiding documents while simultaneously upholding the rule of law. Further and because New Jersey practices New Federalism, our officers recognize clearly that our law makers have granted the citizens of New Jersey greater protections under the law than the Federal Government provides. We also recognize the importance of showing every individual we encounter “unconditional respect” and that by doing so, it increases the safety for our community and the officer’s that serve that community.
In finding the balance between all these competing principles, the Maple Shade Police Department has placed our focus on education and training in support of the most important resource that we have, our personnel. Additionally, having piloted the state wide Resiliency Program for the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, officer safety and wellness have become an important hallmark for our agency and we have found that it has made a difference in the lives of our officers and their families. These improvements have also helped the officers to become incredibly understanding, empathetic and compassionate in supporting our mission in our community.
Lastly and in closing, I ask that each of you please continue to support our first responders and to remember this important point. When you call for assistance, it doesn’t matter your background, where you live, your ethnicity, your immigration status, your gender identity…, just rest assured that highly trained first responders are coming to your aid and will do everything that they can to deliver services in a professional manner and to the best of their ability. They would not be in this profession if they did not truly care and want to make a difference in improving the quality of someone’s life and that someone could be you!
On June 1, 2021, new legislation went into effect governing Body Worn Cameras (BWC), which mandates that all uniformed officers be equipped with BWCs in the course of their duties. In addition, officer’s serving on tactical teams, proactive enforcement units, canine units or duties that require routine interaction with the public will be equipped with a BWC. The law also outlines the use of BWCs by police departments.
Since 2017, The Maple Shade Police Department has been equipped with BWCs, which are worn by each officer in the police department and we have done so in accordance with the guidelines set forth by the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office. The Panasonic Arbitrator body worn camera is worn by all Maple Shade Township Police Officers while on duty and during the performance of their duties as they interact with citizen. The below images depict the Panasonic Arbitrator body worn camera and where they are worn on the Maple Shade Township uniformed and non-uniformed officers. Our motto here at the police department is to “do the right thing each time, every time, even when no one is watching” and this program is simply a manifestation of that statement of trust and respect.