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Bergen County Government

For more information, visit www.co.bergen.nj.us. Bergen County has a County Executive, Board of Chosen Freeholders, and three Constitutional Officers. There are eight departments:

The Department of Administration and Finance includes the Offices of Data Processing, Fiscal Operations, Personnel, Public Information, Purchasing and the Treasury. It ensures maximum efficiency, cost-effectiveness and quality service for the county’s taxpayers.

The Department of Health Services promotes optimal health, prevents disease and protects the environment. Its divisions are Public Health, comprised of health education, health consultation, general sanitation and dental health program, Mental Health, the Law Project and a crisis hotline (201 -262-HELP); Adult Day Care, the Bergen County Health Care Center; Pastoral Care; Alcohol and Drug Dependency; Environmental Health; and the Animal Shelter.

The Department of Human Services assesses the needs of the county's most vulnerable residents, and then manages resources to meet those needs, while coordinating a delivery system. The department's divisions include Alternatives to Domestic Violence, the Office for Children, Community Transportation, Disability Services, Family Guidance, Senior Services and Veterans Services.

The Department of Law is lead by the County Counsel. There are two divisions. The County Counsel's Office is legal counsel to the County Executive, the eight departments and the offices of the Sheriff, County Clerk, Surrogate and Prosecutor. The Adjuster's Office is the liaison between the courts and the psychiatric institutions of the state, performs investigations and assists in the processing of gun applications.

The Department of Parks is in charge of the recreational and cultural services of the county. Bergen County boasts an excellent park system where residents can ski, skate, jog, cycle, golf, picnic, camp overnight, tour a zoo, visit a Revolutionary War battle site, take a guided nature hike, swim, and play softball and tennis. Some of the county's facilities include a nationally accredited zoo, four golf courses, 19 parks, two stables, an environmental center and nine historic sites. Its other division is Cultural and Historic Affairs.

The Department of Planning and Economic Development is charged with shaping the county's environmental and economic future. Its divisions include Community Development, Engineering and Administration, Land Use & Development Review, Open Space, Public/Private Partnerships, Data Resources &Technology, Regional Planning & Transportation and Master Planning. It also encompasses the Bergen County Planning Board and the Construction Board of Appeals.

The Department of Public Safety provides public safety services for the county. Included in this department are the County Police, and the divisions of Consumer Protection, Emergency Management, Medical Examiner, Public Safety Education at the Law & Public Safety Institute, Weights and Measures, and the Office of Highway Safety.

The Department of Public Works maintains the county's 452 miles of roads, 173 bridges, and more than 1 million square feet of county buildings. Its five divisions are Administration, Engineering, General Services, Operations and Mosquito Control.

The Constitutional Officers of the County are the Sheriff, the County Clerk and the Surrogate. The Sheriff is responsible for the Bureau of Criminal Identification, Court Security, the Bergen County Sheriffs Detention Center and the Detective Bureau. The County Clerk's responsibilities cover record keeping through the Court and Registry divisions and the operation of the Election Division. The Surrogate admits wills to probate, appoints guardians, and issues certificates of authority to executors of estates. All are elected by the voters of Bergen County.

All in all, Bergen's county government provides services for its residents which local governments are too small to provide and, in addition, acts as liaison to the state and federal governments.