One of the organizations that organize and sponsor these trainings is the Jewish Institute for National Security of America (JINSA). JINSA is a think tank that advocates for US-Israeli security cooperation, increased domestic military spending, and military aid to Israel, and has board members with close ties to US defense contractors. JINSA launched its Law Enforcement Exchange Program (LEEP) shortly after 9/11, and since 2002 has run annual trips to Israel for US federal, state, and local law enforcement. Over 11,000 additional American law enforcement officials have attended LEEP conferences nationwide, which bring in Israeli security officials as experts.
The State Police of New Jersey is among the departments that have sent delegates to Israel. Colonel Joseph R. “Rick” Fuentes served as Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police until 2017, and attended a training in Israel with JINSA as a delegate of the LEEP program in January 2004.
New Jersey State Police spent $218,866.86 to crack into phones using Israeli private tech firm Cellebrite. Israel-based Cellebrite manufactures data extraction, transfer and analysis devices for cellular phones and mobile devices for law enforcement, military and intelligence, and corporate customers. New Jersey State Police uses Cellebrite’s technology to bypass phone passwords and security mechanisms to retrieve call logs, text messages, and in some cases even deleted data.
“The knowledge gleaned from observation and training during the LEEP trip prompted significant changes to the organizational structure of the New Jersey State Police and brought about the creation of the Homeland Security Branch. This Branch, comprising of nearly a thousand members of the State Police, now maintains a steady state of vigilance in New Jersey. It has strengthened our partnership with the New York City Police Department and permits us to deploy within our state in response to international terrorist events such as the Madrid bombing and worldwide threats by Hamas and Al Qaeda.” ~ Superintendent Col. Fuentes
Fuentes was sued by a former officer in a racial discrimination lawsuit and criticized for not doing enough to end police abuse of residents in his jurisdiction. He also advocated for racial profiling, and accused civil rights activists of being professional race baiters who “scapegoated” law enforcement. Col. Fuentes may be Trumps likely pick to head the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which is still looking to fill the position of Chief after it temporarily assigned an acting chief in October 2017.