Joseph Fuentes, Ph.D.
Superintendent, New Jersey State Police
Colonel Joseph "Rick" Fuentes is the 14th superintendent of the New Jersey State Police as well as the state's director of Emergency Management. Superintendent Fuentes joined the State Police in 1978, and his assignments include those of a general road duty trooper in central and southern New Jersey and of an instructor at the Sea Girt Academy. He was also a supervisor with the FBI/NJSP Joint Terrorism Task Force, Narcotics Units, and the Street Gang Unit. Prior to being named superintendent, he was assigned as the chief of the Intelligence Bureau, overseeing nine units within the Intelligence Section.
The recipient of numerous awards, Superintendent Fuentes has been recognized by the U.S. Justice Department, Drug Enforcement Administration, and in 1993 was a co-recipient of the New Jersey State Police Trooper of the Year award. In 2004, he was named as the 1st vice chair, Division of State and Provincial Police, International Association of Chiefs of Police.
Recognizing the need for the rapid deployment of critical resources during emergencies, Colonel Fuentes ordered the most comprehensive reorganization in the 83 year history of the State Police. That reorganization merged the Emergency Management Section with the newly formed Special Operations Section to establish the new Homeland Security Branch. The Aviation, Marine, Canine, Traffic Safety, Arson/Bomb, State Government Security, and other specialized units are now under the command of one lieutenant colonel, allowing the State Police to respond with minimal fiscal impact or disruptions to other areas of responsibility.
Superintendent Fuentes 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.