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NJ State Police Needs to Add to its Ranks

State Police cruiser
Flickr user tom_hoboken

Not everything in Governor Chris Christie’s budget proposal was announced during his speech this week. According to a summary released prior to Tuesday’s address, the governor plans to enhance the New Jersey State Police with $1 million to recruit and select two training classes.

An estimated 150 new troopers would be enrolled per class, “enabling State Police to continue effectively managing its workforce levels.”

“Any funding for new troopers is a good thing,” said Christopher Burgos, President of the State Troopers Fraternal Association. However, he also shared concerns and questions that may not be answered until additional budget details are revealed.

According to Burgos, beyond the money devoted to recruitment and selection, it would cost millions more to actually run the classes. He said he wants to see additional money plugged into the budget so the process can move further than filling out applications.

Meanwhile, several adequate candidates have already gone through the recruitment and application process. Burgos feared these people would be ignored because they are not included in the new batch of funding.

“I don’t think it’s a good idea to forget them, and go out in search of new candidates, when we have quite a large pool of people that want to do this job,” Burgos explained.

The attrition rate has outpaced hiring within the State Police, and with cuts on the local level, the number of requests for state assistance has grown. Burgos noted that by starting from the beginning with recruitment, instead of using and advancing the people who have already applied, the State Police would delay the process of getting cops in the field.

“I do need several hundred troopers as soon as possible to deplete the members that are retiring,” said Burgos.

Details of Christie’s budget proposal should be known within the next week.

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