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OFFICIAL NEWS RELEASE

 
 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Lt. Al Della Fave, (609) 882-2000 x6514
Sgt. Kevin Rehmann, x6515
Sgt. Gerald Lewis, x6516
Det. Stephen Jones, x6513

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
June 02, 2003


 
 

Governor McGreevey Swears-in Joseph "Rick" Fuentes As 14th State Police Superintendent

Colonel Fuentes Announces Major Reorganization

    West Trenton- Governor James E. McGreevey with Acting Attorney General Peter Harvey, today swore-in Joseph “Rick” Fuentes as the 14th Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. The event was held at State Police Headquarters in the shadow of the Memorial Garden and was attended by hundreds of community leaders, elected officials and representatives from the nation’s law enforcement community.

     Governor McGreevey spoke of his confidence in the State Police and his new Superintendent. “Colonel Fuentes represents the best combination of forward-thinking, academic insight and law enforcement experience. He shares my philosophy of using community partnerships as a foundation on which to reduce crime and raise the quality of life in our cities,” Governor McGreevey said.

     Peter Harvey, acting Attorney General, voiced his approval of his new Division head saying, “Colonel Fuentes is a thoughtful, progressive law enforcement officer who understands the components of modern policing. He shares my commitment to compliance with the federal Consent Decree, as well as an aggressive Community Policing program that increases the State Police presence in rural and urban areas. I look forward to continued productive working relationship with Superintendent Fuentes.”

     Colonel Fuentes enlisted in the State Police in January 1978, as a member of the 93A Class. He has served the Division throughout the state, including assignments as a general road duty Trooper and instructor at the Sea Girt Academy. He also was a supervisor with the FBI/NJSP Joint Terrorism Task Force, the Narcotics Unit, and the Street Gang Unit. Prior to being named Acting Superintendent, he was Chief of the Intelligence Bureau, overseeing nine units within the Intelligence Section.

     The recipient of numerous awards, Fuentes has been recognized by the U.S. Justice Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and in 1993 was a co-recipient of the New Jersey State Police Trooper of the Year award. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Kean College of New Jersey in 1977, a Master of Arts in Criminal Justice from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York in 1992, and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Criminal Justice from City University of New York in 1998.

     In his speech, Colonel Fuentes outlined his plans to solidify community outreach initiatives by forming an entire State Police Branch responsible for this work. The Community Partnership Branch incorporates the street-tested anti-crime efforts that have been so successful in the cities of Camden and Newark. The Branch also includes Recruiting, Victim Services, the D.A.R.E. program, the Museum and community outreach activities.

     The organizational structure of the branch placed more than 100 people under the command of Lieutenant Colonel C. Thomas DeFeo, who was previously tasked with running the Camden Anti-Crime Partnership. The Camden effort will continue under the supervision of the new branch. The highly diverse command staff includes one major, three captains, and several lieutenants who will be charged with implementing the branch’s mission. This command staff is currently meeting with community representatives from Irvington who asked for State Police assistance with the city’s crime and gang problems.

     Colonel Fuentes sees the Community Partnership Branch as the direct link between the State Police and the people it serves. “The partnerships we develop will provide a point of contact for feedback and encourage relationships critical to the success of our mission,” said Colonel Fuentes. “Through this initiative, we will turn back the clock to when policing meant personal contact with the people being served and protected.”

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