Law Enforcement Careers in New Jersey

There’s plenty of good news coming out of New Jersey when it comes to the state’s crime rate, which continues to plummet. Between 2021 and 2022, shootings in New Jersey fell by 23%. With the exception of Trenton and East Orange, New Jersey’s deadliest cities all saw decreases in the number of shootings during this time.

This level of crime reduction can largely be attributed to the exceptional efforts of New Jersey’s law enforcement community, who serve and protect the state’s citizens at the municipal, county, and state levels.

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New Jersey State Trooper Jobs

The New Jersey State Police is organized into divisions that include a Homeland Security Branch, an Investigations Branch, and an Operations Branch that includes field operations that are organized into troop stations. In addition to the main office in West Trenton, troop locations include:

    • 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

To become a state trooper in New  Jersey, candidates must be between the ages of 21 and 35 when they apply; they must have a bachelor’s degree or 90 credits toward a bachelor’s and a firm date for completing the program; and they must pass a medical and psychological evaluation, background investigation, and physical agility assessment.

Police Department Jobs in New Jersey

The largest municipal police departments in New Jersey include:

  • Newark Police Department – The Newark Police Department is organized into seven precincts, a metro division, a special operations division, a major crimes division, a general crime division, and more.
  • Jersey City Police Department – The Jersey City Police Department includes North, West, South, and East districts and is staffed by more than 900 sworn officers.
  • Paterson Police Department – The Paterson Police Department is home to 380 sworn officers.
  • Edison Police Department – The Edison Police Department is organized into four bureaus: an operations bureau, criminal investigations bureau, central records and communications bureau, and administration bureau. Within the Operations Bureau are six patrol squads.
  • Woodbridge Township Police Department – About 200 sworn officers are part of the Woodbridge Township Police Department.
  • Elizabeth Police Department – The Elizabeth Police Department is organized into the following divisions: Patrol Division, Training Division, Personnel Division, Detective Division, Juvenile Division, Community Service Division, and Communications Division.

These six, major urban centers represent 11 percent of the population of New Jersey.

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All police officers within municipal police departments are hired using a hiring process that is mandated by the New Jersey Civil Service Association. Once candidates take the Law Enforcement Examination (LEE), they earn a spot in the eligible pool and then complete a series of assessments that include a background investigation and medical and psychological evaluations.

Deputy Sheriff Jobs in New Jersey

Sheriff’s offices in New Jersey assist local law enforcement agencies or state police with homeland security and crime and provide security for correctional facilities and courts. However, deputy sheriffs in New Jersey have no law enforcement powers and are therefore most often referred to as sheriff’s officers.

This civil service position recruits using civil services rules, and sheriff’s officers can only be hired from a certified list that’s available through the New Jersey Department of Personnel.

Bergen County

The Bergen County Sheriff’s Department is the county’s largest law enforcement agency, employing more than 900 deputized officers. Sheriff’s officers provide court security through the Bergen County Justice Center, maintain order at the Bergen County Jail, and transport prisoners between facilities. Specialized units include community outreach, criminal investigation, emergency response, rapid deployment, and special operations.

Burlington County

The Burlington County Sheriff’s Department employs sheriff’s officers in its court division, sheriff’s warrant unit, sheriff’s emergency response team, community services division, and bicycle patrol unit.

Ocean County

Ocean County sheriff’s officers maintain order and security throughout the county, which includes more than 900 square miles along the Jersey Shore and about 600,000 residents.

New Jersey Law Enforcement Salaries

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), law enforcement officers in New Jersey earned an average salary of $91,690 as of May 2021.

The following police/sheriff’s department salary data was sourced from May 2021 BLS stats (early career = 25th percentile, senior/late career = 90th percentile).

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Police Officer Salaries

New Jersey is unfortunate in having several cities with crime statistics well above the national averages, and police salary levels reflect the degree of difficulty and dedication that officers have to have to function in those environments. The Newark Police Department is predictably near the top of the bracket, but, surprisingly, little Woodbridge Township pays senior officers nearly as much.

Atlantic City Police Department

  • Entry – $61,970
  • Mid-level – $83,080
  • Senior – $128,200

Ocean City Police Department

  • Entry – $51,410
  • Senior – $127,930

Trenton Police Department

  • Entry – $61,020
  • Mid-level – $81,020
  • Senior – $126,520

Vineland Police Department

  • Entry – $52,410
  • Mid-level – $66,740
  • Senior – $107,710

Sheriff’s Deputy Salaries

New Jersey Sheriff’s departments can pay just as well as municipal departments. The range is wide in Bergen county, but the senior positions there exceed even the top municipal departments for pay levels.

Atlantic County Sheriff

  • Entry – $61,970
  • Mid-level – $83,080
  • Senior – $128,200

Ocean County Sheriff

  • Mid-level – $65,440
  • Senior – $127,930

Mercer County Police Department

  • Entry – $61,020
  • Mid-level – $81,020
  • Senior – $126,520

State Trooper and State Police Salaries

New Jersey state troopers deliver expertise and vital highway safety functions all over the state, as well as backing up regional agencies. Troopers enjoy one of the highest starting salaries for any police agency in the state.

New Jersey State Police

  • Entry – $65,020
  • Senior – $128,200

2021 US Bureau of Labor Statistics salary figures for police and sheriff’s patrol officers. Job growth projections from the US Department of Labor-sponsored resource, Projections Central. Figures are based on state data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed August 2022.