If you think you’ve got the guts, grit and smarts to become a New Jersey state trooper, now’s the time to take action.

According to State Police Superintendent Patrick Callahan, applications to join the NJSP are being accepted online for the next three weeks.

He said to begin this kind of career of service, especially in the middle of a pandemic, takes a special kind of dedication.

“I think of 9/11,” said Callahan. “I think of the recruiting efforts, both in the military and fire departments and law enforcement in the wake of those terrorist attacks, and I think this has that same feel to it.”

He said joining the State Police is really becoming part of something bigger and better than yourself.

Troopers are working at vaccination sights, on the highways, on the drug epidemic and taking illegal weapons off the streets.

“The Academy is difficult, the Academy is stressful. It is similar to what you would call a Marine Corp boot camp," he said. “And you have to want to be there, you can’t do it for anybody else but you.”

“It’s not an easy job to get but a phenomenal one to have,” he said.

Callahan was exposed to the State Police at an early age by his father, retired State Police Major Mick Callahan, who served as division staff section commanding officer under Col. Clinton Pagano.

The State Police has 120 specialized units.

Applicants who get accepted now would not start training until next year because of a pool of trooper candidates, about 200 or so, will go into the State Police academy starting in August.

The application process closes at 11:59 p.m. April 23.

You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com

SEE: Painstaking labor to save the North River tunnel

Seven stories below street level in Weehawken, on the edge of the Hudson River, a race against time is being waged, foot by painstaking foot.

More From New Jersey 101.5 FM