Dr. Richard Celeste retired in 2002 after 26 years in Law Enforcement at the rank of Deputy Chief. Dr. Celeste was the civilian Director of the Somerset County Police Academy for the next 20 years. Dr. Celeste has trained over 50,000 officers in his career. He helped design the original police academy and the Somerset County Firearms Range located in Hillsborough, New Jersey.
As Academy Director he was responsible for the daily operation of the academy and training police and corrections officers from1989-2013, after which point the academy evolved to develop and administer continuing education programs. Approximately 100 Advanced Law Enforcement Continuing Education Programs were administered annually under his command.
Dr. Celeste provided Use of Force training for approximately 2000 sworn officers annually and has trained over 7000 citizens in a variety of programs that he developed and administered at the academy.
Dr. Celeste’s academic credentials include a Bachelor of Arts degree in American History, a Master of Arts degree in Education and a Doctorate degree in Adult Education. He is a graduate of the New Jersey State Police Academy for Municipal Officers. Dr. Richard Celeste holds certifications as a Use of Force Instructor, Community Policing Instructor, and Community Policing Officer. Dr. Richard Celeste has also received a certification in Less Lethal Use of Force through Penn State University and is a Force Science Analyst through the Force Science Institute.
Dr. Celeste has been an adjunct professor at Seton Hall University, Center for Public Service, Graduate School Division. He taught Organizational Theory and Behavior and the Administration and Management of Criminal Justice Organizations. He also instructed the undergraduate division teaching such courses as Criminology, Criminological Theory, and Victimology. Dr. Celeste has also developed and taught two courses, Leadership, Management, Supervision, a primer for professionals and Contemporary Policing Issues.
Dr. Celeste has also been an adjunct professor at Centenary College teaching Introduction to Criminal Justice and Juvenile Justice at the undergraduate level and Effective Management Practices at the graduate level. Dr. Celeste taught Introduction to Criminal Justice and previously instructed Introduction to Criminal Law at Raritan Valley Community College over a period of 15 years.
He has developed many Criminal Justice-related programs to include personal safety programs for women, female college students, and new drivers of motor vehicles. He developed a “Skills of Life” Program, Juvenile Offender Leadership Training Course and a “Police Youth Week” Program.
His doctoral thesis addressed how to administer a comprehensive recruit training program and was the model for the Basic Training Program at the Somerset County Police Academy and has been requested for use by other New Jersey academies and outside of the State of New Jersey. Dr. Celeste has lectured at Rutgers, Seton Hall, and Rider University regarding the topics of Use of Force and training law enforcement officers. Dr. Celeste continued to provide mandatory instruction to officers in Somerset, Hunterdon, and Warren Counties during the Pandemic of 2020 through the use of web-based programming.