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How can I improve my chances to get into a state police academy?

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  • How can I improve my chances to get into a state police academy?

    First of all, I would like to introduce myself as I just recently joined this website and have a strong interest in a career in law enforcement. My father attended NJ State Police Academy in the 70s and I am interested in getting into an academy as well.

    I am currently an undergraduate at a flagship state school. I am double majoring in Criminal Justice and Human Resources Management (as a backup plan). My GPA is high (3.4) and I fully expect it to get higher (probably around a 3.6-3.7). I was wondering what my chances are, due to the current economic climate, of getting into a state police academy that is taking recruits would be? I am really interested in entering law enforcement. As a summary of my activities, I am in a fraternity, where I have had many leadership roles and community service hours. I am also in Alpha Phi Omega, a national service organization with alumni like Bill Clinton and Michelle Obama that does extensive community service work. On top of all that, I am a volunteer with the EMS squad, CPR and first aid certified. I was wondering how difficult it is to get into police academy? I am willing to move to any state that would take me.

    How can I improve my chances? Should I volunteer for the community service officers at my school? Should I participate in ROTC? Any advice would be appreciated.

  • #2
    I'm not certain that I'd advertise fraternity ties with people such as Bill Clinton or Ms. Obama, but then, that's your call. My suggestion to you is that you do your research in New Jersey, perhaps using the New Jersey section of this forum. Generally, admission to a state police academy is based on your being hired, either by the NJSP, or a local agency which utilizes the NJSP Academy for local agencies. Whether or not "self-sponsor" academies are allowed in New Jersey is another area for you to research. Should such academies be allowed, I suggest you utilize the "search function" for numerous discussions on the subject of self sponsor academies. In the meantime keep your GPA high, look into internships, or part time employments opportunities with your Campus Police or area law enforcement agencies. Choose your friends wisely, avoid anything which could torpedo your hopes of entering this profession.

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    • #3
      Thanks for the response. Just to clarify, Alpha Phi Omega is not a "fraternity" in the typical sense of the word. It's actually closely tied to the Boy Scouts. It's primary focus is on community service and leadership skills, and they do not have houses or parties or anything like that.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by jon.scott9013 View Post
        Thanks for the response. Just to clarify, Alpha Phi Omega is not a "fraternity" in the typical sense of the word. It's actually closely tied to the Boy Scouts. It's primary focus is on community service and leadership skills, and they do not have houses or parties or anything like that.
        Nice to know, and thanks for the information. That said, the names referenced probably aren't the best you can do on a LE forum.

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        • #5
          You seem to be on the right track.

          My pointers would be to maintain your course and if possible, seek out internship opportunities in the LE community. Engage the agency and see if there are volunteer opportunities that can provide you insight to the department.

          I would also recommend a read through the various forums here, through which you will garner a wealth of information.
          Originally posted by SSD
          It has long been the tradition on this forum and as well as professionally not to second guess or Monday morning QB the officer's who were actually on-scene and had to make the decision. That being said, I don't think that your discussion will go very far on this board.
          Originally posted by Iowa #1603
          And now you are arguing about not arguing..................

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          • #6
            Thanks for the response everyone. I recently got called for an interview as a Community Patrol Officer with my campus' police department. So hopefully it all goes well.

            Also, just a quick question regarding degrees. I am thinking I will change my Criminal Justice major to a program here at my school called Planning & Public Policy. This is more mathematically rigorous and focuses a lot on urban planning and public administration. Could this apply to a law enforcement career? Would it hurt my chances at getting accepted (do departments usually prefer Criminal Justice degrees?)

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            • #7
              Yes, it would apply. No, depts don't prefer CJ degrees. It is also probably a little more marketable while you are waiting for the LE job to work out.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by jon.scott9013 View Post
                T Could this apply to a law enforcement career? Would it hurt my chances at getting accepted (do departments usually prefer Criminal Justice degrees?)
                ANY 4 yr degree is applicable for a LEO job..............................................

                Many degrees are better in the long run than a CJ degree----------especially Business and administration type degrees should you decide to promote later.

                However take a degree in a field you are interested in-----------------it is SOoooo much easier to have a field of study you like.

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                • #9
                  Thanks for all the advice. I am definitely interested in planning and public administration. I am very interested in getting into emergency management, and I see law enforcement as great experience and knowledge for that field.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jon.scott9013 View Post
                    Thanks for the response. Just to clarify, Alpha Phi Omega is not a "fraternity" in the typical sense of the word. It's actually closely tied to the Boy Scouts. It's primary focus is on community service and leadership skills, and they do not have houses or parties or anything like that.
                    Actually, yes they are a Fraternity. But who cares one way or another. You mentioned it.

                    As already stated, any 4 year degree would do, however a degree is also not required for most agencies.
                    "An excuse is worse and more terrible than a lie, for an excuse is a lie guarded."

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                    • #11
                      I never said they weren't a fraternity, I merely said that they weren't a "fraternity" that immediately comes to mind with everyone's biases (i.e. Animal House stuff).

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