About the Human Services Police
The Human Services Police Force protects state facilities across the state which are open and operated by the Department of Human Services and the Department of Health 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all year long. This includes developmental centers and psychiatric hospitals.
Through a joint agreement with the Department of Children and Families (DCF) the Human Services Police partner with the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCPP) staff with investigating allegations of child abuse and neglect and, if necessary, arranging for the child's protection and the family's treatment.
Timothy J. Gallagher
Director of Police
Director of Police Timothy J. Gallagher has led the New Jersey State Human Services Police since June 2017. Under his leadership, the Human Services Police force has grown in professional service to the Department of Human Services, the Department of Health, and the Department of Children and Families. The HSP serves as the primary law enforcement agency serving state developmental centers and psychiatric hospitals, and with the staff from DCF’s Division of Child Protection and Permanency investigate allegations of child abuse and neglect.
The Human Services Police has seen unprecedented growth and development under the leadership of Director Gallagher. The mission, values and fundamental question – “How can we serve?” were initially developed with the sworn officers. Staffing and hiring process have been addressed with an active recruitment process. Policy development and ongoing training have been instituted to establish a learning culture. Fleet and equipment improvements give the Human Services Police tools available for today’s modern police. Enhancements in service to the public are seen in the K9 Unit and Unmanned Aircraft Systems (drone) Unit.
Before joining Human Services, Gallagher worked in the nuclear industry in various roles including; Health & Safety, Regulatory Compliance, Security Operations, and Leadership Development. He is a retired Lieutenant from the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, where he also served as the Chief of Staff. Before the prosecutor’s office, Gallagher served as a New Jersey State Trooper and State Investigator with the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice. He has also been an adjunct instructor for Seton Hall University and county colleges.
Gallagher received his Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Trenton State College and a Masters of Arts in Human Resources Training and Development from Seton Hall University. He is a graduate of the 148th Class – School of Police Staff and Command from Northwestern University as well as the New Jersey State Association Chiefs of Police Command & Leadership Academy. Gallagher has also completed the Brown University – School of Professional Studies – Leadership and Performance Coaching Certification.
The New Jersey State Human Services Police are sworn to serve and protect the people of the state with a focus on children, families, and individuals with disabilities and special needs.
The need for police at Department of Human Services facilities was recognized by the legislature in the 1890’s when it enacted N.J.S. 30:4-14 authorizing the commissioner to appoint “Special Policemen” to keep the peace at the facilities. There were Human Services Police Officers more than 30 years before the New Jersey State Police was created and they have been serving the public for over 100 years. In those days, an officer was employed by a specific institution and the duties of the officer varied widely from facility to facility. The officers reported to the administration of the particular institution and there was no centralized control of the department.
In 1984, Commissioner George Albanese recognized the need for a centralized police service. He issued Administrative Order 1:50 that created the Human Services Police. On December 8, 1995, Governor Christine Todd Whitman signed into law Bill A-2177. This legislation gave Human Services Police Officers full statewide police powers. The Human Services Police is structured with three institutional-based districts, three child protective services units, a detective unit and a HazMat Response Team. Today, the current strength is approximately 160 sworn personnel supported by a staff of about 20 civilian personnel.
Human Services Police Officers perform the same basic functions as a police officer in a municipality. However, the Human Services Police Officer is a unique position. They are charged with protecting some of New Jersey’s most vulnerable residents.
The Human Services Police continue to expand in areas where the Department of Human Services and the Department of Children and Families see the need for police involvement.