During the fall of 1979, the New Jersey State Police embarked on
an experimental program to recruit, select, and train an all-female
class in an effort to increase the number of women in the enlisted
ranks of the Division.
In June 1980, thirty women graduated from the first all female State
Police class in the nation.
During the spring of 1980, an ambitious program to expand laboratory
services to serve law enforcement throughout the state was completed.
The program began in 1969, and was designed to meet the future needs
of the law enforcement community in the scientific field and called
for expansion of the Central Laboratory of the Forensic Science
Bureau at Division Headquarters in West Trenton and the establishment
of three Regional Laboratories to cover the state: North at Little
Falls, South at Hammonton, and East at Sea Girt. With the opening
of the East Regional Laboratory, each phase of the expansion has
been successfully completed.
In early 1981, the Division embarked on a unique program to stem
the spiraling crime rate in New Jersey by forming a State Police
Metro Crime Task Force.
The Task Force, which comprised uniformed Troopers, was to supplement
local police resources in an effort to suppress violent street crime
and armed robberies of commercial establishments.
The overall goal was to alleviate the fear of crime in the minds
of citizens and to buoy confidence that government can impact positively
on the problem of crime in the major urban centers.
The City of Trenton requested aid and became the first major city
in the state in the experimental program. The five-month pilot program
proved highly successful in helping to reduce crime.
On July 1, 1981, the Marine Police of the Department of Environmental
Protection were transferred to the State Police and made part of
the Field Operations Section.
The Marine Law Enforcement Bureau became the primary provider of
police services on the waters of this state. The Bureau provides
response to waterborne emergencies requiring police investigation
In 1982, the Superintendent established the Weapons Committee to
review Division policy and determine ways to improve the Troopers
safety and effectiveness.
As a direct result of this Committees action, the 9mm semiautomatic
pistol was adopted as the primary weapon of the State Police, replacing
the traditional service revolver. In addition, our firearms training
was revised and increased, and the PR24 baton and shotguns in Troop
cars were adopted through the committees efforts.
Also, in 1982, the Employee Assistance Program was established for
all sworn members and their families. The general purpose of the
New Jersey State Police Employee Assistance Program is to help those
individuals with persistent behavioral-medical or personal problems.
During 1983, the Legislature and the Governor mandated that the
State Police become active in the statewide investigation of missing
persons and background investigations within the solid/hazardous
Subsequently, the Missing Persons Unit and the Solid/Hazardous Waste
Background Investigation Unit were formed within the Investigations
Section to carry out these legislated responsibilities.
On January 20, 1984, another milestone in the history of the Division
was reached when the 125 members of the Highway Patrol Bureau were
sworn in as members of the State Police.
They had been under the jurisdiction of the State Police since February
10, 1979, when an Executive Directive issued by the Attorney General
transferred the Enforcement Bureau to the Divisions Operations
Section, where it became known as the Highway Patrol Bureau.
This merger was accomplished to avoid overlapping assignments and
improve operational efficiency by placing statewide enforcement
under the Superintendent of State Police.
In 1985, the Well Trooper Program was instituted for all sworn personnel.
The program, which has been a great success, follows good preventive
medical practices to ensure a healthier work force by providing
a complete annual medical examination.
In 1986, following a unique signing of a five-year lease between
the Army and the Division, State Police pre-service training was
relocated from the Sea Girt Training Academy to facilities at the
US Army Training Center, Fort Dix.
The move to the new training facility alleviated crowding at the
Sea Girt Academy and enabled State Police recruit training to be
conducted 12 months a year. Advanced training courses for state,
county and municipal police, and the basic course for municipal
and state agencies continues to be conducted at Sea Girt.
Liberty Week 86 was the largest and most extensive operation
in the history of the State Police. Nine days of events to celebrate
the 100th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty encompassed the use
of 1,240 Troopers and approximately 10,000 work-hours.
The Divisions responsibilities included: patrol, criminal
investigation, aiding of the sick, and medical evacuations at Liberty
State Park, the Meadowlands, and on many of the surrounding highways
leading to these areas.
The success of Liberty Week 86 and the lack of any serious
incidents occurring can be attributed to the excellent planning
and coordination between the Division and the many other law enforcement
The new State Police communications network became operational in
1987. This modern day system is a long way from the early years
when a red lantern, red light or red flag would be displayed at
signal stops to advise the patrols there was a message for them.
During this decade, increased responsibilities have had a tremendous
impact upon the profile of the Division and have provided the opportunity
for the State Police to, once again, demonstrate its versatility
and proficiency when called to task.
This can be attested to by the most extensive manhunt in State Police
history for the killers of Trooper Philip Lamonaco, which began
with his murder on December 21, 1981.
Through determination and sophisticated investigative techniques,
suspects Raymond Levasseur, Patricia Gross, Richard Williams, Jaan
Laaman, and Barbara Curzi were arrested on November 4, 1984.
This manhunt ended when the last two suspects, Thomas Manning and
his wife, Carol, were arrested on April 24, 1985. This ended the
ten-year reign of these career criminals who are members of the
Jonathan Jackson-Sam Melville Unit and The United Freedom Front
They were also responsible for eighteen bombings and numerous bank
robberies throughout the east coast on the United States.
As the times changed, so did the priorities and objectives of the
New Jersey State Police. In conjunction with the implementation
of the 1986 Comprehensive Drug Reform Act and the statewide master
plan for comprehensive drug enforcement, the Division instituted
The State Police Plan for Action, in July 1987.
This innovative drug enforcement program began with new drug laws,
and updated arrest, search and seizure laws and techniques. The
training was followed by immediate aggressive patrol work coupled
with increased enforcement action resulting in drug arrests increasing
Successful undercover high school operations combined with a strong
emphasis on educating students have served as a deterrent to drug
use in our schools. Meanwhile, the targeting of upper-echelon drug
traffickers continues with a new sense of urgency.