1990's - The Tradition Continues
The 1990's began with the appointment of Colonel Justin J. Dintino as the tenth Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police.
The catch phrases of the day were “doing more with less” and “streamlining,” two very unenviable tasks in an economy that was experiencing cutbacks and possible layoffs.
One way in which this was accomplished was with the consolidation of the Narcotics and Organized Crime Bureaus into the Criminal Enterprise and Racketeering Bureau (C.E.R.B.).
This merger of two very effective Bureaus combined their investigative expertise to combat the expanding influence of criminal enterprises and their racketeering activities.
In continuing the war on drugs, major investigative initiatives targeting Colombian and Jamaican drug cartels were instituted. Realizing that drug enforcement alone will never totally eradicate the narcotic’s problem, the Division expanded Project D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education).
In this valuable program, uniformed troopers instruct elementary school children on how peer pressure to experiment with drugs can be resisted. These same troopers also instruct other police officers who then become instructors themselves.
Since fighting the drug problem requires a multifaceted approach to be successful, proactive inner city initiatives targeting street level drug trafficking were expanded.
This continued assault became known as Operation I.D.E.A. (Inner-city Drug Enforcement Assistance). The project is a long term commitment of law enforcement working with all community groups so that the people can once again enjoy their city free from the harm created by drug traffickers.
Another major narcotic’s initiative undertaken by the Division is Operation R.O.A.D.S.I.D.E. (Reduction Of Alcohol/Drugs Statewide [through] Interdiction, Detection, Education).
This is a cooperative effort with federal and local law enforcement agencies and the commercial transportation industry in New Jersey to accomplish two main goals.
The first is to identify, apprehend, and deter substance abuse and illegal drug trafficking activities involving commercial and public trucking transportation systems.
The second goal is designed to encourage the support and participation of the general public, especially those individuals employed in the transportation industry.
New technological innovations continue to expand the Division’s capabilities of providing the finest in crime fighting techniques. The Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) utilizes computer-optic technology with high-speed scanning devices to classify, store and retrieve the 1.1 million criminal fingerprint cards currently in the system.
AFIS eliminates the time consuming, labor intensive manual system of classifying and comparing fingerprints and enables law enforcement to solve previously unsolved crimes.
In just more than one year, this fabulous system has identified suspects in at least 33 homicides, 45 robberies, and 394 burglaries. In many instances, the investigating agency had no idea who the suspect was, and without this system the suspect would probably have avoided detection.
The Office of Emergency Telecommunications (OETS) was established within the Division to coordinate the implementation of the 9-1-1 statewide emergency telephone system. The 9-1-1 network allows public access to report emergencies and request emergency assistance.
In early August of 1992, the State of New Jersey hosted the National Governor’s Association in Princeton, NJ This conference serves as the primary meeting for the National Governor’s Association where the States’ chief executives adopt national policy positions.
The Division of State Police was responsible for providing overall security for this meeting. This included security for all attendees, housing, meetings and social events.
Planning for this event began a year prior to the event. The Division utilized the Incident Command System to manage the various functions during this time period.
In October 1992, the New Jersey State Police Museum and Learning Center, located at Division Headquarters, was dedicated and opened to the public.
The center is partially housed in one of the Division’s oldest and most historic structures. The log cabin was constructed in 1934 as a CWA (Civilian Works Administration) Project and was originally used as a dormitory and classroom for State Police recruit training.
The Museum and Learning Center provides the opportunity to learn the distinguished history of the nation’s most diversified state law enforcement agency.
In April 1993, the Division established new educational standards for entry into the New Jersey State Police. For the first time, college credits were required, the first educational upgrade since a high school diploma was made mandatory in 1936.
These new educational requirements stated that candidates must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. The Division will accept 60 credit hours only for individuals who, have at least two years of active duty military service or who have two years of active full time law enforcement experience.
On July 26 through 29, 1993, the Division hosted the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Division of State and Provincial Police, North Atlantic Regional Conference in Absecon, New Jersey.
This conference brought together superintendents and representatives from 12 North Atlantic States as well as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
On June 9, 1994, Colonel Carl A. Williams was sworn in as the 11th Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police.
From early June through July 13, the World Cup `94 soccer games were played in Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
The planning for this security detail began two years prior to the first game and required the Division to provide a full-time contingent of personnel to coordinate all aspects of this operation.
The World Cup Games attracted many dignitaries from all over the world. Security for all of the dignitaries was provided by the State Police in conjunction with the United States Secret Service and the Department of State.
The planning, training, and cooperative efforts of all of the participating agencies involved in World Cup `94 were the key ingredients to a successful operation which attracted 555,000 fans for seven games.
In October 1995, the Division of State Police provided a large contingent of Troopers as security for Pope John Paul II on his travels in North Jersey. The largest detail of Division personnel was utilized at Giants Stadium, where the Pope said mass for 76,000 people.
The year 1996, marked the 75th year of the New Jersey State Police. Several events were planned to celebrate this diamond anniversary.
On March 7, 1996, eighty-one Troopers, dressed in the original “boots and britches” uniform, including the first issue six-inch Colt .38 revolver and the Winchester Model 94 lever-action carbine, conducted a reenactment of the “First Patrol,” of New Jersey State Troopers at Trenton’s Masonic Temple.
This ceremony, which originally took place on December 5, 1921, was the beginning to a year of special events, commemorating the Division’s 75th year history.
In the largest celebration of the year, the Division conducted an In-Ranks Review Ceremony on May 3, 1996, on the parade grounds of the Sea Girt Academy. General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, US Army (Ret.) the son of our first Superintendent, was the guest of honor for this event.
Governor Christine Whitman signed a proclamation making the general honorary Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, for the day and presenting him with a solid gold State Police badge, with the number 1, a replica of his father’s first badge.
General Schwarzkopf then reviewed the 400 Troopers assembled on the parade field with Governor Whitman, Attorney General Poritz, Colonel Williams and Richard Militano #2673, who reenacted a 1921 Division’s Sergeant Major.
From January 2, 1996 to May 29, 1996, the Division coordinated the Camden City Initiative, a multi-agency law enforcement project which utilized patrol and investigative resources to reduce criminal activity in the City of Camden.
The significant decrease in reported crimes during this five month period demonstrated the effectiveness of the State Police in suppressing urban criminal activity.
On July 17, 1996, the Marine Law Enforcement Bureau was one of the first units summoned to the waters off Long Island, New York, to assist in the initial recovery of victims and debris after the tragic crash of TWA flight 800.
On November 8, 1996, the new Troop A Headquarters and Law Enforcement Center was officially opened in Buena Vista Township.
This state-of-the-art complex was dedicated to the memory of 13 Troop A, Troopers killed in the line of duty protecting South Jersey residents. This facility replaced the outdated and overcrowded Hammonton facility, which had been home to the State Police for 55 years.
The New Jersey State Police has remained in the forefront of creative policy implementation and investigative techniques. Technological innovations have enhanced and expanded the original purpose of the State Police; yet there exists a network of stations that fulfill the initial role of the State Police, to provide law enforcement services to the citizens of New Jersey.
As the Division continues to march forward into the twenty-first century, there are many endeavors yet to be completed, such as, the merger of the Marine Law Enforcement Officers, Alcohol Beverage Control Officers, and State Capitol Police into the ranks of the State Police.
The current body of more than 2,600 enlisted and sworn members, and 1,200 professional staff share one distinction regardless of their rank or designation, they are members of one of the most prestigious law enforcement organizations in the world -- the New Jersey State Police.