Gov. Corzine today appointed East Orange, N.J., police director Jose Cordero, 51, to become the state's first director in charge of fighting gangs, guns, and violent crime.

Cordero has been heralded for reducing crime in the North Jersey city by using computers to analyze crime trends. Overall crime in East Orange fell 56 percent in three years, according to a statement by state Attorney General Anne Milgram. From January through November this year, crime dropped an additional 29 percent, she said.

Milgram suggested today that the technological innovations Cordero put into place in East Orange could be used throughout the state.

Cordero, who began his career with the New York City police, will begin his new assignment early next month.