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Turnpike Trooper: Racial Profiling & the New Jersey State Police
John Hogan  More Info

About the New Jersey State Police

On March 29, 1921, the State Police Bill was passed into law. Senator Clarence I. Case, who introduced the bill, is known as the “Father of the State Police.” On July 1, 1921, Herbert Norman Schwarzkopf, a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, was appointed as the first Superintendent of the State Police by Governor Edward I. Edwards.  Schwarzkopf was commissioned to organize the first training class. Competitive examinations were held for the purpose of selecting the type of man desired for this service.  Sixteen hundred men, between the ages of twenty-two and forty, made application for the one hundred and twenty positions allowed by the law.

 

Today, the New Jersey State Police is organized into four Branches: Administrative Branch; Investigations Branch; Homeland Security Branch; and, Operations Branch.  The Operations Branch contains the Field Operations Section and is the largest of the branches.  The Field Operations Section consists of the Traffic Bureau and the Troop Road Stations.

 

The New Jersey State Police have seven core services:  General Police Services; Highway and Traffic Enforcement; Statewide Investigation and Intelligence; Emergency Management; Support for State and Local Law Enforcement Efforts; Maintenance of Criminal Records and Identification Systems; and, the Regulation of Certain Commerce.

John grew up in small town in Burlington Country, New Jersey with a single goal – to become a trooper with the New Jersey State Police.  As one reader of Hogan’s work remarked, “it took John years to become a trooper and seconds to lose his job.”

 

John Hogan joined the New Jersey State Police in 1993 as a member of the 113th recruit class.  Seven years later, as he patrolled the infamous New Jersey State turnpike he would find himself in the center of a controversial shooting.  Hogan observed that he “was immediately labeled a racist and cast as the poster boy for racial profiling throughout the country.”  John Hogan’s book, “Turnpike Trooper: Racial Profiling & the New Jersey State Police,” is his personal account of the five years following the shooting.

 

A recent reader of the book remarked, “Trooper Hogan gives an inside look into the New Jersey State Police and the circus-like atmosphere that erupted following the shooting which occurred in the midst of allegations of racial profiling. None of us can know exactly what went down that fateful night, but there is no question that Troopers Hogan and Kenna became pawns in a political dance and power struggle between the Governor and State Attorney General.”

 

You will have to read for yourself and decide if the troopers violated policy and should have been disciplined; and, did the State of New Jersey unnecessarily try Hogan and his partner for attempted murder.

 

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