New Jersey State Police Actively Seeking Diverse Candidates for Recruitment

As law enforcement faces a steady exodus of personnel, the New Jersey State Police is proactively recruiting the next generation of troopers, with a particular focus on diversifying its ranks.

Amidst the departures, the agency aims to attract more women of color to join its force. Amber Neely, one of only 10 Black female troopers currently serving with the New Jersey State Police, recognizes the significance of representation within law enforcement. She underscores the rarity of seeing Black female troopers in uniform and is collaborating with her superiors to address this gap.

In an exclusive interview with CBS New York’s Christine Sloan, Col. Patrick J. Callahan, the head of the New Jersey State Police, emphasizes the agency’s commitment to recruiting a diverse pool of candidates. The upcoming application period, commencing on March 18, presents an opportunity to advance this objective. Callahan acknowledges the challenges faced in recruiting women, especially minority women, citing the absence of Black female recruits in the last class as a particular concern.

Despite efforts to bolster recruitment, Callahan notes a decline in applicant numbers over the years, with the current pool shrinking to around 3,000 candidates compared to approximately 15,000 during his own recruitment. However, he remains steadfast in his belief that a diverse force is essential for fostering trust and rapport within communities.

Addressing the broader trend of declining law enforcement retention nationwide, Callahan attributes part of the issue to increased scrutiny faced by police officers, including heightened oversight through body cameras. Nevertheless, he asserts that accountability is vital for upholding the principles of protection and service.

For Neely, her decision to become a trooper was driven by a deep-seated desire to serve her community. As the New Jersey State Police aims to bolster its ranks to over 3,400 troopers after the upcoming graduation in July, individuals interested in joining the force are encouraged to visit for more information about the application process.

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With starting pay at $72,000 and top pay reaching $150,000, the New Jersey State Police offers competitive compensation alongside the opportunity to make a meaningful impact through service and dedication to public safety.

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