Trump Made an Honorary NJ State Police Trooper as Thanks for Support
During Police Week in Washington, a presentation was made to Trump in the Oval Office as a thanks for his support of Fuentes' efforts to return Joanne Chesimard to the United States from Cuba, State Police spokesman Lt. Ted Schafer told the Townsquare News Network.
In a photo posted by NJ.com, Lt. Col. Patrick Callahan, Col. Rick Fuentes and Lt. Col. Jeffrey Mottley stood around Trump as he held a plaque with the patch and the number "45" inside a frame.
Fuentes and other officers were in Washington during Police Week when the names of three New Jersey officers who died in the line of duty in 2016 were added to the Roll Call of Heroes: Sean Cullen, Williams Fearon and Frankie Williams, according to Schafer.
"President Trump mentioned specifically the issue of Joanne Chesimard being returned from Cuba ... and as being a supporter of the New Jersey State Police priorities to bring the fugitives back to justice we wanted to be able to thank him for his efforts in brining a murderer of a New Jersey State trooper back to our state to serve out the remainder of her time," Schafer said.
A transcript of Trump's speech to the National Peace Officers' Memorial Service showed that while Trump did not specifically mention Chesimard, he did mention meeting New Jersey troopers just prior to the ceremony.
Gov. Chris Christie said during the March edition of Ask the Governor that he has brought up Cherimard several times to Trump.
"He knows about Joanne Chesimard and he remembers that case. Remember, he's lived in this region his whole life and that was a pretty infamous case. And he talked about it during the campaign," Christie said.
Trump in June made the demand for the return of Chesimard — who was convicted for her role in the killing of a state trooper on the New Jersey Turnpike in 1973 — as he spoke in Miami about U.S. policy toward Cuba.
“Return the fugitives from American justice, including the return of the cop-killer Joanne Chesimard,” Trump said.
Schafer said the only person named an honorary member of the State Police was Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf in 1996. His father, H. Norman Schwarzkopf, was the first head of the New Jersey State Police.
"I was there at the ceremony. It was a lapel pin, which was the actual size of a State Police badge with a number 1, which was his father's. Instead of the four stars in the corner it was three stars and three diamonds," Schafer said.
Gov. Christine Whitman signed a proclamation in 1996 making Gen. Schwarzkopf an honorary State Police Superintendent. He was also presented with a solid gold State Police badge bearing the number 1, a replica of the badge his father H. Norman Schwarzkopf wore as State Police Colonel.
NYPD Commissioner Howard Safir named Trump and honorary police commissioner.