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