Some 7,091 people have started filling out forms in the first 24 hours since the New Jersey State Police started accepted new applications for the first time in more than two years.

About half of those have been completed and submitted. State Police Lt. Stephen Jones say about 82 percent have prequalified. Jones says the remaining 18 percent are ineligible because of age, education or criminal records.

The New Jersey State Police announced in April it would start accepting job applications for its next class of troopers.




The agency has been reaching out to encourage diverse applicants. Whites make up 82 percent of the nearly 2,800 troopers in the state. Blacks make up 6 percent and Hispanics 9 percent.

Applications will be accepted online until 5 p.m. on May 29.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)