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How to become a officer in NJ (PA certified now)


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  • How to become a officer in NJ (PA certified now)


    I have a question and hoping that some of you can clear the air here.

    My situation is as follows. I have 14 years of police experience in Pennsylvania and my soon to be wife got a great job offer in northern NJ (Lyndhurst/Nutley area) and we will be moving so I have to quit my job.

    Does anyone know the hiring proceedure I will have to go thru, I get the impression there is one statewide test given every 2 years??? is this true and also will my PA certification carry over into New Jersey for a waiver of training so I dont have to redo the academy. and will having my PA certification help me get a job?

    Also any other advice or anbything would be greatly appricated this is very new to me going to another state.


  • #2
    Some towns hire via through civil service route while others hire via a test or resume. Lyndhurst does not use NJDOP (civil service) as they administer their own test. Nutley does hire via civil service testing. The state wide civil service test is given every two years and the next test is supposed to take place in late 2006.

    New Jersey is considered one of the most difficult places in the country to land a cop job because many factors such as:

    Pay- Many NJ depts. pay very well. In fact it is somewhat common for agencies in Bergen County (the county Lyndhurst is in) to top out in the 90k range for a patrolman without overtime.

    Benefits- Very few jobs can match the fringe benefits that local Pds offer. 70% retirement @25 years and full medical coverage after you retire are two examples of the great benefits that are offered.

    Politics- Sure they exist everywhere but NJ is famous for them. The towns that administer their own tests(Chief's Test) can basically hire whomever they want and they don't have to justify their decision to anyone. It is not uncommon to see an individual who has political juice hired over other applicants who are more qualified. Most local PDs in NJ are very small and they only hire 1-3 guys every so often and when they do there are usually hundreds of applicants that you are competing against.

    NJPTC (NJ's Version of MPOETC) does not recognize PA ACT 120 so therefore you would have to complete an entire NJ academy. There is also age age cut off of 35 years of age imposed by NJPTC. If you are over 35, The best you can hope for in NJ is a corrections or sheriffs job. Corrections and sheriffs in NJ hire through the civil service process( except for Somerset County) and with all of the veterans returning from foreign service civil service jobs will be VERY hard to get. NJDOP will rank veterans over non-vets on the list as long as they receive a passing score.

    Unfortunately, you are moving to a state that makes landing a police job very difficult. Good luck in your endeavors. If I can assist you further, please let me know.


    • #3
      that information doesn't sound to promising! I knew the situation was atleast somewhat political as my girlfriend has a relative who works for Lyndhurst...The fact that they don't accept PA act120 for a waiver of academy training is the biggest part it seems. I'm 34 and have no desire to repeat the police academy especially after working for the last 14 years as a police officer, I know allot of states accept PA act120 as we have a fairly comprehensive academy here, I think it's now like 6 months long....and I thought the 3 months academy I went to in 1990 was too long!


      • #4
        I don't think your problem is so much that NJ won't accept your PA certification. I do know people that have gotten out of state certs approved in NJ. It is a case-by-case basis, in fact I know people that went to the academy together for a bi-state agency, and one had no problem transferring over and one was unable. It's weird, but depending on how much a department wants you it could happen for you.

        Your problem is that (1) civil service departments generally only hire off the local resident list and (2) as previously pointed out, many non-civil service departments are small and get loads of apps for 1-2 spots.

        The 35 year age max applies to the NJ Police and Fire Pension system, in which membership is generally required of all local and county police officers. It is not a PTC requirement to my knowledge. However, out of state time spent as a LEO can be subtracted by an applicant for admission. See their website for more info (NJ Division of Pensions and Benefits). Moreover, many PD's probably have a standard max age limit, and probably don't want to bother hiring someone that is over 35.

        You are probably SOL for NJSP, as their age limit is not waivable to my knowledge.

        If I were you, I would first look at the Delaware River Port Authority, which has 2 police departments w/ bi-state jurisdiction : PA Police and PATCO police. It would be a hike from Bergen County, but it would keep your foot in the door for LE work.

        Next, I would research and send a resume ASAP to every non-civil service department in NJ. I would also send a resume to every county prosecutor's office with a cover letter expressing interest in an investigator position. Don't limit yourself to a geographical area, b/c then you'll almost definitely be screwed.

        (Note: this next part is a real long shot) You MIGHT be able to get hired as a special at the shore for summer 2006 (Monmouth, Ocean or Cape May counties). Pay is low, but it would be a foot in the door for NJ LE. Also, Essex County Sheriff's Office has a deputy sheriff program, which is volunteer but gives you a special cert that is waivable into a full-time cert.

        Unfortunately, given your age situation, my opinion is that you are going to have a very difficult time getting hired as a LEO in NJ. But, it's worth a shot. Give it all you have.

        Bottom line is, don't hold your breath, b/c getting a cop job in NJ is a PAIN IN THE ***!!!!


        • #5
          Justice12 has hit the nail on the head on how hard it is to get a LE job in NJ. As stated your best bet is to flood every type of LE agency you can. Regarding a waiver, the PD has to hire you first and then submit a form to the state. To read it it looks quit simple, but its as much about how bad the department wants you and pushes the PTC to approve it.

          Here the link: http://www.state.nj.us/lps/dcj/njptc/waivers.htm

          Also you may want to look into a Federal gig. North Jersey has many opportunities and for some you need only be under 37. Check out the USAJOBS site regulary.

          Good Luck.


          • #6
            For your knowledge, as has been posted the age limit is because of the pension. County Prosecutor's Office and Sheriff's Department do not have these age limits but won't be able to place you in the Police and Fire Pension. Instead you go in the PERS (Public Employment Retirement System).
            Also be advised that some County Prosecutor's Office won't hire you unless you have at least a B.S. for example Bergen County.
            My agency (Passaic County) is currently interviewing and he (Prosecutors) likes to hire cops, but don't know about out of state.
            Good luck.
            "The policeman is sent by God to help you. But if you are doing something wrong, of course you should be afraid, for he will will have you punished. He is sent by God for that very purpose" - Rom 13:4


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