Law Enforcement Careers in New Jersey

Law enforcement careers in New Jersey may be classified into three types: State, County (Sheriff’s Department) and Municipal/Local. According to the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police, about half of the law enforcement agencies in the state fall under the jurisdiction of the state’s Civil Service Commission/Department of Personnel. The other half is governed by local regulations or ordinances. If you are interested in working for a specific New Jersey law enforcement agency or department, contact them directly to find out their exact requirements and hiring process.

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Police Officer Jobs in New Jersey

The largest municipal police departments throughout New Jersey that serve localities’ law enforcement needs include:

  • Newark Police Department
  • Jersey City Police Department
  • Paterson Police Department
  • Edison Police Department
  • Woodbridge Township Police Department
  • Elizabeth Police Department

Police officer jobs in New Jersey’s municipalities may include:

  • Municipal police officer
  • Town police officer
  • Township police officer
  • City police officer

New Jersey’s six major urban centers – Jersey City, Trenton, Newark, Camden, Elizabeth and Paterson – represent 11 percent of the population of New Jersey. According to New Jersey State Police crime statistics, from 2002 to 2011, these six cities represented 21 percent of the state’s total crime, including 42 percent of all violent crime and 18 percent of nonviolent crime in New Jersey.

Deputy Sheriff Jobs in New Jersey

Sheriffs are responsible for law enforcement duties occurring in the counties of New Jersey. They may assist local law enforcement agencies or state police with homeland security and crimes. The largest counties in New Jersey with sheriffs’ departments include:

  • Essex
  • Hudson
  • Passaic
  • Middlesex
  • Union

Deputy sheriff jobs in New Jersey counties may include:

  • County police officer
  • County corrections officer
  • Sheriff’s officer
  • Deputy sheriff
  • Sheriff

In 2011, Essex County, New Jersey reported the highest number of robberies (664) and murder arrests (44) of any county in the state.

Qualifications for Becoming a Police Officer or Deputy Sheriff in New Jersey

Each county and/or municipality in New Jersey has its own rules and qualifications for police officers and/or deputy sheriffs. However, generally you must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • US citizenship
  • Age  (varies by job but must be at least 18 years of age)
  • Possess a valid driver’s license
  • Education (varies by job)
  • Experience (varies by job)
  • Pass a thorough medical examination

State Trooper Jobs With the Highway Patrol in New Jersey

The state of New Jersey is divided into troops that are responsible for various areas of highway patrol and jurisdiction over crimes occurring in these areas. Locations are:

  • West Trenton – main office
  • Troop locations:
    • Troop A Stations- include Atlantic City Expressway, Port Norris, Bellmawr, Woodbine, Woodstown, Metro South (Camden), Buena Vista (Williamstown), Bridgeton, and Strategic Investigations Unit in Camden
    • Troop B Stations- include Washington (Port Murray), Hope, Metro North (Irvington), Totowa, Somerville (Bridgewater), Perryville (West Hampton), Sussex (Augusta), Netcong, and Strategic Investigations Unit in Irvington
    • Troop C Stations – include Tuckerton(West Creek), Red Lion (Southampton), Kingwood (Frenchtown), Hamilton, Bordentown, and the Office of State Governmental Security in Trenton
    • Troop D Stations – include the Turnpike Region [Newark, Moorestown (Mount Laurel) and Cranbury] and the Parkway Region [Bloomfield, Holmdel and Bass River (New Gretna)]
    • Troop E Stations – include the Troop E Headquarters in Holmdel, Bloomfield, Bass River (New Gretna) and Holmdel Station

State trooper jobs with the highway patrol in New Jersey may include:

  • State police trooper
  • State corrections officer

In 2011, burglary arrests in New Jersey increased by 11 percent over 2010’s numbers, according to the New Jersey State Police. Manslaughter arrests that year increased by 13 percent. Murder arrests in New Jersey in 2011 decreased by 21 percent, while rapes decreased by 13 percent.

Qualifications for Becoming a State Trooper in New Jersey

  • Age – must be at least 21 years old but not older than 35 when you apply
  • Education – must have a bachelor’s degree or 90 credits and a firm date of completion
  • Pass a thorough background investigation
  • Pass a medical/psychological evaluation
  • Pass the Physical Qualification Test

General Hiring Practices for Law Enforcement Jobs in New Jersey

  • Civil Service Examination – required for most law enforcement jobs in New Jersey. If your application is reviewed and you meet the basic requirements, you will be issued information on when and where to report for the Civil Service Exam. Computer-based testing sites are located in Trenton, Camden and Hackensack.
  • Passing the exam gives you a Notice of Eligibility and places you on a list to be considered for the job.
  • If you are hired for a law enforcement job in New Jersey, you must complete some form of police training for law enforcement jobs in New Jersey. Depending upon the level at which you are hired (state, county or municipal), this training varies. It may include:
    • New Jersey State Police Academy in Sea Girt – for state police jobs; average of 25 weeks of police training necessary for most law enforcement jobs in New Jersey
    • The New Jersey Police Training Commission is responsible for creating training programs for local and municipal law enforcement jobs in New Jersey

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