EDISON - After 25 years on the job, a former state police sergeant decided to become a whistleblower against what he saw was a methodical suppression of complaints against high-ranking officers.
Former Sgt. Brian Royster was awarded a $1 million by a jury who found Col. Rick Fuentes violated a state law designed to protect whistleblowers.
Royster, who retired with a clean record after 25 years, says the police can't police themselves. Yet, the investigation Fuentes is leading, in what has been dubbed April's death race down the Garden State Parkway, has already yielded criminal charges against two officers, and changes in protocol for state police escorts.
"It appears there is a lack of serious leadership being filtered down to the rank and file," said Royster.
Royster would like to see complaints and internal cases investigated by a state or federal agency outside the purview of the Attorney General's office.
The Attorney General's office says that they have full confidence in Col. Fuentes.
Attempts to reach Col. Fuentes and the State Police for comment were unsuccessful.