With nearly thirty years of law enforcement expertise, Chief Patricia Gusmano has served the people of Union County with integrity and distinction. In her investigative work, Gusmano exercises compassion, supporting and advocating for victims of sexual assault, child abuse, and families of homicide victims. As a supervisor, Gusmano leads by example, using her years of experience to educate the next generation of investigators.
Graduating from the Union County Police Academy in 1990, Gusmano began her career at Kean University Police Department (KPD), moving through the ranks to Detective Sergeant. As Detective Sergeant, Gusmano became commander of the agency’s first official Detective Bureau. In her role, Gusmano supervised all patrol related functions, worked as a task force officer for several external agencies, and coordinated a program for students on campus sexual assault. The program educated students on assault defense and available social services. Prior to departing KPD in 2000, Gusmano was promoted to Lieutenant, a title she ultimately declined, choosing instead to join the Union County Prosecutor’s Office (UCPO).
Throughout her nineteen years at UCPO, Chief Gusmano has worked in almost every unit including the Narcotics Strike Force, Criminal Case Control Unit, Special Prosecutions Unit, Homicide Unit, Special Victims Unit and the Professional Standards Unit. With each new assignment, Gusmano has worked tirelessly, serving her fellow officers as a trusted partner and supervisor.
In 2009, Gusmano joined the Special Victims Unit (SVU), and was later promoted to Sergeant in 2013. In SVU Gusmano worked on investigations concerning sexual assaults, child abuse, human trafficking, and missing children. Her experience working with victims of sexual assault and violence made her a source of expertise in the industry. During her time in SVU, Gusmano served as the liaison to the New Jersey State Human Trafficking agency from 2011-2017 and conducted all department human trafficking investigations from 2011-2016. Recently, Gusmano was awarded “Outstanding Law Enforcement Officer 2017” by the NJ Sex Crimes Officer’s Association, honoring Gusmano’s investigative work on a human trafficking case.
From 2017, until her promotion to Chief of Detectives in 2019, Gusmano served as Lieutenant of the Professional Standards Unit, ensuring UCPO functioned as an agency of honor and truth, while fulfilling UCPO’s mission to serve and protect the public. During her tenure as Chief of Detectives, Gusmano plans to foster a closer relationship with the public UCPO serves. She intends to do this through collaboration with local, state, and federal partners in law enforcement, along with private citizens and local groups to provide a safer environment for the community. In interactions with individuals who are victims of crime, and affected by crime, she will continue to encourage her staff and local law enforcement to act with compassion and respect in order to encourage trust and confidence in the role of law enforcement in their community.
In addition to her work at UCPO, Chief Gusmano instructs at the John H. Stamler Police Academy, imparting her knowledge on new Recruits and In Service Officers. Gusmano teaches classes on investigating sex crimes, human trafficking, and interview and interrogation techniques.
With numerous commendations, meritorious service awards, and professional accolades, Gusmano is an irreplaceable asset to the Union County Prosecutor’ Office, and to the people of Union County. Driven by her unparalleled work ethic and innate sense of right from wrong, Chief Patricia Gusmano’s wealth of experience makes her an excellent Chief of Detectives at UCPO.