New Jersey Police Academy Requirements and Qualifications to Become a Cop

Even though New Jersey isn’t the largest state in the United States, it’s a challenging place for police officers to do their work. There are large cities with high crime rates. There is a great deal of transportation and travel in the state, including airplane and train travel as well as shipping traffic. All of it brings police challenges.

The New Jersey Police Training Commission (NJPTC) governs police training in New Jersey. This Commission works on training opportunities for both new and current police officers. There are a handful of training academies scheduled throughout the state. The Commission recognizes that there are both positive and negative aspects to a career in law enforcement, and it aims to make sure that officers are adequately trained to perform their jobs with skill and ethics.

Job Prospects

Even though New Jersey is a small state, there is a large population, with its location in the eastern part of the United States and its proximity to New York City. For this reason, job prospects for new officers in the state are quite good, if you meet the NJPTC’s minimum standards for entry into police work. Each agency sets its own standards, however. Agency compliance with the NJPTC is voluntary, so the individual agency that you want to work for may have more strict or lenient rules for hiring.

The Hiring Process

There are two ways to get hired to work as a police officer in New Jersey. The first is to apply and get the job before you attend a police academy. The second is to attend a police academy to make yourself a more attractive candidate for getting a job. How you find your job depends on your qualifications and the hiring needs of the department.

Age and Residency

To work in law enforcement in New Jersey, you have to live in New Jersey. The Commission says that you have to be at least twenty-one years old. You have to have a current and valid operator’s license. You have to have U.S. citizenship.

New Jersey has one of the most strict requirements when it comes to officer education. Some states only require a high school education, but New Jersey requires new officers to have at least a bachelor’s degree. Most local departments adhere to this recommendation, but some departments allow applicants to have just some college credits or military service to meet this requirement.

Proving Fitness – Credit, Drugs and Alcohol

One thing that the State of New Jersey checks when screening its new officers is credit history. Although this might surprise a number of applicants, the state believes that it’s relevant to showing that a person can manage their affairs responsibly and keep promises. You must also show that you can pass drug and alcohol testing. The force does not accept officers with ongoing drug and alcohol abuse problems.

Medical Fitness

Law enforcement candidates also have to show that they are medically fit to do their duty. This means showing that you have good hearing and good vision. There are height and weight limitations as well, and you have to pass tests showing that you’re physically strong and that you have good aerobic fitness. Serious medical issues might be disqualifying, because you have to be able to perform the requirements of the job. It also helps to enjoy working with the public, because that’s a large part of the job.

What to Expect

If you’re fortunate enough to enter an academy, you are called a cadet or a recruit. You might live at the academy or you might commute during your training. Usually the training takes six months, but it can vary. If you graduate from the academy successfully, you can work in New Jersey as a police officer.

What to Expect at the Academy

Police academy gives you training in the most important skills and things that you need to know in order to succeed when you’re a full-blown law enforcement officer. You need to continue to show that you’re in peak physical condition.

One way to make sure that you succeed in police academy in New Jersey is to give yourself a head start in training. The way to do that is to read an expert guide about what you need to know in order to pass the academy and land a great job. Prepare For The Police Academy is a top guide for new recruits. This book, from, tells you what you don’t know that you don’t know about what happens in police academy.

You can study Prepare for the Police Academy to learn physical maneuvers such as defensive tactics and weapons procedures. Study the biggest constitutional rights issues that you need to know like search and seizure. Learn about the biggest crimes like assault, domestic violence and drunk driving. With this information and important training tips and tricks, you can be sure you’re fully prepared to take on this new, challenging career.

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