1970's - Shaping the Future
The early years of the decade again found the State Police summoned to civil disturbances in the cities of Asbury Park and Trenton.
In July 1970, the 82nd Class would be the last State Police Class to graduate from the Academy in West Trenton. Subsequent classes would be conducted at the State Police Academy in Sea Girt.
The Division of State Police marked their 50th Anniversary in 1971.
On May 1, of that year, the new State Police Academy Building at Sea Girt was dedicated in honor of our first Superintendent, Colonel H. Norman Schwarzkopf, and on June 12, a monument, honoring the 44 Troopers who have died in the line of duty, was dedicated by the Association of Former New Jersey State Troopers.
From January through October 1975, Colonel Eugene A. Olaff served as the eighth Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police.
During this period of time, Colonel Olaff recognized the importance of many of the initiatives implemented by his predecessor. With that thought in mind, he felt the time was right to establish the Corruption Control Unit within the Organized Crime Task Force Bureau.
The Corruption Unit was comprised of state police personnel, investigative accountants, and attorneys from the Division of Criminal Justice who collaborated on corruption investigations.
As the 1970's progressed, our nation was preparing to celebrate its 200th Anniversary. As a result, the State Police formed the Bicentennial Planning and Coordinating Unit.
This unit was charged with coordinating the efforts of approximately one hundred law enforcement agencies for the control of crowds and traffic at the bicentennial events and historic sites throughout the State.
In 1975, the traditional black and white troop cars would enter the history books with the boots and breeches and motorcycles. An all white patrol car would emerge as the principle troop vehicle.
The first compliment of all white Plymouths had no other markings than the “triangle” on the door and the words “State Police” on the trunk. After realizing how plain looking the cars were, chevrons were added to all car doors and the decal “State Police” added to the right front fender. In 1978, this decal was replaced by “State Trooper.”
On October 24, 1975, Colonel Clinton L. Pagano was sworn into office as the ninth Superintendent of the State Police.
The demands on the State Police were increasing tremendously at this time. The need for specialized police services dictated a need for an organizational structure change to effectively administer the new responsibilities. Allocation of work was parceled to eight Sections instead of three to meet with these demands.
So many areas in the modern, crime prevention effort were initiated during this period. Arson investigation, fugitive tracking, and major crime investigation were only some of the functions that became specialized tasks, while basic and extended training for Troopers and municipal police officers increased progressively at the State Police Academy in Sea Girt.
The Staff organization within Division had grown in concert with the growth and expansion of the State Police mission. Intelligence gathering procedures were expanded and analytical unit was established within the Division.
Sophisticated intelligence systems were instituted that have been recognized by several government commissions including the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP).
In 1976, the oldest tradition still remaining in our road operations would enter the history books. Troopers would no longer live in the barracks, as they had since 1921. The “pass list” was replaced by the 8 hour day. During this same year, the Division assumed the responsibility of providing police services to the state owned Meadowlands Complex.
In December 1977, Colonel Pagano authorized the signing of a formal contract with Seton Hall to further professionalize policing. State Police recruits are awarded twenty-nine credit hours which are approved by Seton Hall and conform with the Middle Atlantic States Association standards.
In 1978, the State Police, in cooperation with the College of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, expanded the services of the Helicopter Patrol Bureau to provide the state’s first organized Air Rescue Medical Evacuation Program (MED-EVAC).
The new service was designed to expedite the transportation of persons who had sustained life threatening injuries thereby increasing the ability of local and state agencies to provide for the public safety.
The State Governmental Security Bureau was also expanded in 1978 to include all persons performing security functions within the State House Complex. The Bureau consists of Troopers, Capitol Police and Security Guards who are responsible for traffic control, investigation of crime and patrolling the grounds and buildings within the Complex. The Bureau also provides security for the Governor and other dignitaries.
In 1979, the Highway Patrol Bureau of the Division of Motor Vehicles was transferred to the State Police and made part of the Field Operations Section. Also, the Office of State Fire Marshal within the Department of the Treasury was transferred to the State Police. In addition, enforcement responsibilities of the Division of Alcohol Beverage Control would now be under the direction of the State Police.
During the same year, the CD-DC function was transferred from the Department of Defense and incorporated in the State Police as part of the Emergency Management Section. The Office of CD-DC was reorganized and designed to promote coordination and eliminate the duplication of emergency relief efforts throughout the State.
With the advent of casino gaming in Atlantic City in 1979, the Division was called upon to play a major role to ensure compliance and enforcement of state statutes under the Casino Control Act. More than one hundred Troopers act as the law enforcement arm for the Division of Gaming Enforcement and the Casino Control Commission.