Deputy Chief Laura Hester currently leads the NJ TRANSIT Police Department's Investigations Bureau. The bureau consists of the Detective Division, Fraud Unit, Evidence Control Unit and the Office of Professional Standards.
Deputy Chief Hester started with the NJ TRANSIT in August 1994. Throughout her career, she served on various assignments including Patrol, Train Patrol and the Anti-Crime Unit in 1997 where she specialized in undercover operations. Deputy Chief Hester worked on numerous investigations with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) and New Jersey Attorney General's Office. Additionally, Deputy Chief Hester was assigned to the Essex County Auto Theft Task Force and the Essex County Prosecutor's Office of Special Investigations. She was promoted to Detective Sergeant in 1998. In 2002, she advanced to Lieutenant and was assigned to Transit District 3 in Hoboken as Executive Officer. In 2004, Deputy Chief Hester was assigned as Officer-In-Charge of Transit District 4 in Secaucus. She was promoted to Captain in 2006 where she was in charge of the Central Communications Center, Policy and Procedure and Special Events. She was promoted to Inspector in 2012 and was assigned as Officer-In-Charge of Transit District 2. She was promoted to her current rank of Deputy Chief in 2015.
Deputy Chief Hester is a veteran of the United States Army and Navy and the recipient of the Lifesaving Award and numerous Merit Awards and Unit Citation Awards. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Seton Hall University and graduated from the Middlesex County Police Academy and NJ State Association of Chiefs of Police's West Point Command & Leadership program.