West Trenton, N.J.- Today, Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman and Colonel Rick Fuentes unveiled the New Jersey State Police Future Law Enforcement Education and Training, or “FLEET” Mentoring Program to community leaders, at the State Police Museum and Learning Center. He also spoke with the select eighth graders and their New Jersey State Police mentors who are participating in the new program.
Three schools have been selected for this pilot program: Mill Street School in Newark, Joyce Kilmer School in Trenton, and Buena Regional Middle School in Buena. Twenty-three troopers have volunteered to make a five-year commitment to mentor their assigned students.
Through regular interactions between the students and their trooper-mentors, as well as structured lectures, visits to the State Police Academy, and summer internships with the State Police, the FLEET Program is designed to teach students leadership and communication skills, improve self-esteem, prepare them for college, and foster an interest in careers in law enforcement.
Today marked the first workshop that is part of the five-year draft curriculum that will run year-round. Subjects and activities at the museum included bullying, conflict resolution, a tour of the NJSP Museum and Learning Center, patrol vehicle displays, and lunch with the mentors and students. Some of the future workshops will include a forensic science presentation, a tour of the Regional Operations and Intelligence Center, and physical fitness and nutrition education.
“The FLEET Program reflects my commitment and that of the State Police to improving diversity within New Jersey’s premier law enforcement agency. The two most recent graduating State Police classes were the most diverse in New Jersey’s history. The FLEET Program will ensure that future classes are equally diverse, populated with recruits who, from a young age, are instilled with the work ethic, values, and intelligence that are the hallmark of the New Jersey State Police,” said Acting Attorney General Hoffman.
“The New Jersey State Police is proud to be a part of this historic program,” said Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “The FLEET Program will create a unique opportunity for troopers to have a positive impact on a student’s life, while the five-year commitment will allow time for mentors and students to build meaningful relationships.”
Statistics and research have proven that mentoring works. Mentors help young people set positive career goals and provide the direction needed to accomplish them. Students who meet regularly with their mentors are 52% less likely than their peers to skip a day of school, and they are 37% less likely to skip a class. Mentoring has proven to benefit a young person’s emotional and physical well-being, peer relationships, academic attitudes, and academic performance.