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JERSEY STATE POLICE
OFFICIAL NEWS RELEASE
STATE POLICE UPDATE RECRUITING EFFORTS & 119TH CLASS
Ewing Twsp. - Colonel Carson J. Dunbar, Jr., Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, today announced that the 119th State Police recruit training class will start on Sept. 5 when 50 recruits report to the Sea Girt training facility to begin an intensive 26-week training program.
The 119th Class will be the first of five training classes scheduled to get underway by the end of the year. The 119th Class will be followed by the 120th Class in approximately three weeks with three other classes of 50 recruits starting approximately every three weeks thereafter.
"With the start of the 119th class, we are beginning a process of replacing personnel that have left the State Police over the past two years. As the recruits complete training and are assigned to general road duty patrol, additional personnel as called for in the Attorney General's reports will be moved into supervisory positions, the Office of Professional Standards (internal affairs) and to units responsible for drug investigations," Colonel Dunbar said.
Dunbar noted that when the recruiting process started last November, it was anticipated that two classes of 100 to 150 recruits would begin training in either the summer or late fall of 2000. However, as indicated from the outset of the recruiting drive, the State Police and the Attorney General's Office continuously examined the process and made adjustments as necessary. As part of the overall review, the State Police determined to evaluate training programs utilized by other police agencies. In particular, the Academy reviewed the training process utilized by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) for the past ten years - a training model that calls upon military discipline but also mandates individual self reliance and initiative.
"As a result of the Academy staff review of the RCMP model and teaching methods, and my own experience as a parent and someone trained in education, I strongly believe that education should, whenever possible, be provided in small classes. In order to provide the best possible training, the State Police Academy staff has received direct training from the RCMP and will incorporate aspects of the RCMP model into the New Jersey State Police recruit training program. A major part of this new training program involves reducing the size of recruit training classes. While the RCMP model recommends 30 individuals in a class, the State Police will begin with 50 recruits per class and, after our current staffing shortages are addressed, will seek to further reduce class size downward from 50," Dunbar said.
Colonel Dunbar noted that the media has recently reported on the implications of the Fair Labor Standards Act on police training in general. The Fair Labor Standards Act also has an impact on State Police training. While the State Police will continue to have a residency program at Sea Girt and much of the training schedule will remain in place, evening training sessions will be reduced as a result of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Therefore, each recruit will attend the Academy for five additional weeks to insure all required courses are included and recruits will attend night training on a rotational basis. It is anticipated that the RCMP adult-based learning program will result in recruits working on their own to keep pace with academy training. Additionally, the Sea Girt academy has been upgraded to accommodate wireless computer systems and each recruit will be provided with a lap-top computer to aid in research and study assignments.
In commenting on the overall selection process, Col. Dunbar reported that 5,023 applicants applied to the State Police between November and December, 1999 (the most recent recruiting cycle). Each applicant was required to have a minimum of 60 college credits plus two years of work experience or a bachelor degree. Additionally, as part of the Consent Decree signed with the NAACP, the State Police agreed to specifically invite individuals who had previously applied to the State Police to reapply.
Dunbar noted that during the selection process for the 119th State Police Recruit Training Class, several "firsts" were achieved. A summary of the selection process includes the following:
- A blind screen was utilized as applications were received and reviewed for minimum qualifications. Candidate qualifications were reviewed and scored by two troopers who had no knowledge of the candidates race or sex. Scoring was done only by number.
- Of the 5,023 original applicants, 1,930 were selected to be tested. This was based upon a scoring cut off.
- The test process incorporated a new State Police examination designed by testing experts. Utilizing a scoring cutoff, 831 candidates were selected to move forward to the physical test.
- The physical qualification test was also changed to mirror the same examination required of all State Police enlisted personnel on an annual basis. Each academy recruit applicant must meet the same physical standards required of all troopers. While this was a revised standard to the entrance requirement, another change was also included; candidates were afforded several opportunities to take the test during a four-week period. All candidates were required to meet each of the testing standards to continue. 241 candidates failed to meet the physical testing requirements or failed to report for testing.
- 590 candidates were approved to continue to the interview phase. The interview process also was revamped to include two members from the State Police as well as a Human Resource Specialist from state government.
- 370 candidates were recommended by the interview boards to continue the process, moving to the background investigation phase. The initial group of candidates for background investigations consisted of 179 individuals. Of this group, 126 were considered qualified. (At this stage, candidates were rejected for automatic disqualifiers such as drug use, indictable convictions, etc. Individuals rejected for non-automatic disqualifiers were reviewed by a State Police Bureau Chief, a Section Supervisor, personally by the Superintendent and finally by the Office of State Police Affairs in the Attorney General's Office.)
- 126 candidates from this group continued to the psychological/medical examination. 99 successfully completed this process and will be invited to attend the first two upcoming training classes.
- 191 potential candidates are still undergoing background investigation.
It is the intent of the State Police to begin another recruiting campaign in September with the hopes of attracting 200 - 300 additional candidates. It is further anticipated that those candidates will begin training in May or June of 2001. Candidates not selected for this process may reapply during the new recruiting process. A formal announcement regarding the upcoming recruiting period will be made in September.
As of this time, the following candidates remain in the selection process (some of these candidates must yet complete the background and/or psychological/medical process):
A detailed break down regarding the sex and race of the applicant candidates during each part of the selection process is attached.