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Orientation Set For Bergen Police Alternate Route Program

This video will prepare a potential cadet for the Pre-Academy Physical Agility Test.
This video will prepare a potential cadet for the Pre-Academy Physical Agility Test. Video Credit: Presented by the Police Academy Directors Association of NJ

Interested in becoming a police officer in New Jersey? You can pay for your own basic training through the Bergen County Alternate Route Program.

Orientation was scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 17, at 7 a.m., and Saturday, Feb. 20, at 9 a.m., at the Bergen County Law & Public Safety Institute in Mahwah. No sign-up is necessary to attend.

However, attendance is mandatory for anyone applying to the program. Applications will be distributed at the orientation.

The academy will then accept the first 225 applicants between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday, Feb. 22. No applications will be accepted prior to then.

All candidates will be required to take the written exam at 7 p.m. March 2.

The top 40 finishers on the written test will take the physical ability test at 10 a.m. March 16.

Based on New Jersey Police Training Commission standards, the physical ability test will consist of sit-ups, push-ups, vertical jump, 300-meter dash and a 1½-mile run.

The top 30 applicants on the written test who successfully passed the physical ability test will be interviewed sometime in April for entrance into the July 2016 or January 2017 basic police class.

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The Police Academy Directors Association of NJ (PADA), in cooperation with the NJ Police Training Commission, has filmed demonstrations of the five events and included information regarding the testing procedure (SEE ABOVE).

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DO NOT call the police academy with questions. Any and all questions will be answered at the orientation.

Under New Jersey law, an alternate route candidate is someone who doesn't hold a probationary or temporary appointment as a police officer but who is seeking such an appointment.

You must:

(1) meet the general qualifications for a police officer set forth in N.J.S.A. 40A:14-122;

(2) be accepted by the New Jersey Police Training Commission;

(3) be a U.S. citizen;

(4) be sound in body and of good health sufficient to satisfy the board of trustees of the Police and Firemen's Retirement System of New Jersey for eligibility for retirement benefits;

(5) be able to read, write and speak the English language well and intelligently;

(6) be of good moral character, with no conviction of any criminal offense involving moral turpitude.

(7) have a minimum of 60 academic credits earned prior to the exam date from a regionally accredited or Middle States accredited college or university.

Qualified military veterans must successfully complete every component of the selection process with a minimum qualifying score. Any who has served in the military but isn't a qualified veteran as defined by the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and who is otherwise qualified but has not earned 60 college credits may substitute two years of full time, active duty military service, or a combination of college credits and full time active duty military service to satisfy the education requirement.

There are background investigations and drug tests.

The numbers of slots available are contingent on the number of recruits in the academy. The institute reserves the right to set itw own limit.

State authorities temporarily suspended the program amid layoffs several years ago. Union members said the state has plenty of out-of-work officers available. The state Police Academy Directors Association countered that out-of-pocket recruits save local governments money that they'd otherwise have to spend on training.

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