Some 8,500 applicants are taking the next step toward getting a job with the New Jersey State Police.

Attorney General Jeff Chiesa and Superintendent Col. Rick Fuentes watched as the applicants took the physical qualification test at the training academy in Sea Girt on Tuesday.

More than 12,000 men and women submitted applications online in May when the New Jersey State Police started accepting new applications for the first time in more than two years.

Chiesa says diversity has improved in every category.

Tentative diversity numbers of the remaining applicants are 19 percent Hispanic, 15 percent Black, 14 percent women and 3 percent are Asian.

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