School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA) Certifies 100 NJ Civil Servants in Certified Public Manager Program

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On Friday, Aug. 5, 2016, exactly 100 New Jersey public servants graduated from Rutgers School of Public Affairs and Administration’s (SPAA) New Jersey Certified Public Manager (CPM) Program. Held in Rutgers University’s Cook Student Center, the ceremony highlighted various facets of public service as certificates were presented to police officers, firefighters, analysts, and managers and directors at the municipal, county, and state levels.

“CPM graduates complete a rigorous 10-month program and we are very proud of their accomplishments,” said Jane Sharp, director of the CPM program. “Students learn from the instructors, as well as from each other, and graduate with both improved leadership skills and renewed commitment to public service.”

Offered through the State of New Jersey Civil Service Commission, and accredited by the National Consortium of Certified Public Managers, the New Jersey CPM Program at Rutgers SPAA equips participants with skills to become more effective leaders and managers within their organizations through courses that teach strategic thinking, budget processes, administrative law, and management, among other topics.

The program consists of 21 courses, 252 classroom hours, and a final independent research study, known as a capstone project, that directly benefits participants’ organizations. This year’s capstones reflected many of the current issues in the public consciousness with several projects addressing active shooter scenarios and the use of police body cameras. Others focused on topics such as improving communications and increasing efficiency within government departments. 

Two graduates were presented with Askew Awards – bronze medallions awarded to CPM graduates whose capstones serve as examples of excellence in public service by bringing measurable change to government, improving customer service, and empowering vulnerable populations. Wayne Jeter, the manager of training for the State of New Jersey Civil Service Commission, presented the awards to Corporal Timothy Brown of the Glassboro Police Department and Sergeant Denise Palmisano of the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Department. Jeter also recognized 13 award nominees with notable capstones.

Brown’s capstone, “Teenage Drivers Safety Education Course,” proposes a curriculum for a traffic safety course taught by police officers to complement driver’s education programs in high schools. His proposal seeks to educate students about police procedures during traffic stops and build positive relationships between youth and officers in non-confrontational settings. Brown is currently working toward gaining approval to implement his program in Glassboro high schools.

“I am very excited about the opportunity to present this to the students, and maybe even parents,” Brown said. “The Glassboro Police Department has really made huge efforts lately to get out into the community. I think this is a win-win for all involved. I am really happy to be a part of it. I hope the momentum of this project continues.”

Palmisano’s capstone, “An Analysis of Issues for Improving the Policy and Operating Procedures of the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office Project Lifesaver Program,” was an expansion of her department’s “Project Lifesaver” program that provides tracking transmitters for people with Alzheimer’s disease, Down syndrome, or other disorders that increase a person’s likelihood of wandering and becoming lost. Through her research and collaborative efforts with other program coordinators, Palmisano secured additional funding and staffing for the previously under-resourced program.

"These 100 [graduates] choose to make a difference in the lives of those individuals they manage and serve every day," said Grace Kelly, deputy CEO of the New Jersey Civil Service Commission. "The New Jersey Civil Service Commission, in partnership with Rutgers University, understands that we must develop leaders who have the tools necessary to manage their organizations professionally and successfully."


Photo: Corporal Timothy Brown (back row, center) joins a few fellow CPM graduates for a group photo

Photo provided by Jane Sharp