John H. Stamler Police Academy Seeking Alternate-Route Police Recruits

Individuals interested in becoming a New Jersey law-enforcement officer will have the opportunity to apply via the state’s Alternate Route program at the John H. Stamler Police Academy in Scotch Plains, with applications to be accepted from Monday, Sept. 23 through Wednesday, Nov. 13, officials announced Friday.

The Alternate Route program allows qualified candidates to participate in the New Jersey Police Training Commission’s Basic Course for Police Officers without first being appointed to a municipal or county police agency. The benefit is the same for both the Alternate Route recruit and the hiring agency: Upon graduation, the recruit is pre-trained and ready to work.

The written examination for Alternate Route candidates will be administered at the John H. Stamler Police Academy in Scotch Plains on Saturday, November 16, 2013. Registration to take the examination is required.

Registration materials are available only at the academy. Each registrant must pick up and hand-deliver the examination registration form to the main office at the John H. Stamler Police Academy, 1776 Raritan Road, Scotch Plains (on the Union County Vo-Tech campus). Photo identification is required to submit the form, which also requires a non-refundable $75 examination fee, payable only by check or money order made payable to the Union County Police Chiefs Association.

Each registrant also must present photo identification on the day of the examination.

Upon submission of the registration form to the academy, each registrant will be given additional instructions regarding the Alternate Route program and processes.

The state sets forth that an Alternate Route candidate must be a citizen of the United States; that he or she must be able to read, write and speak the English language well and intelligently; that he or she must be of good moral character and never previously convicted of any criminal offense involving moral turpitude; and that he or she be in good health, sufficient to satisfy the board of trustees of the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System of New Jersey as to eligibility for membership in the retirement system.

Candidates also must have a minimum of 60 earned academic credits from an accredited college or university. Qualified veterans (as defined by the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs) who have not earned 60 credits can substitute two years of full-time, active-duty military service or a combination of college credits and full-time, active-duty military service to satisfy the education requirement.

The written examination is the first step of the process. Registrants who score highest on the examination will be considered for a handful of openings as part of Class No. 111, which will attend the academy from 5:30 a.m. through 3:30 p.m., July through December 2014, or Class No. 112, which will run from January through June 2015.

Tuition for an Alternate Route recruit is $1,890. Additionally, each Alternate Route recruit is responsible for approximately $2,500 in additional purchases, including uniforms, equipment, supplies, ammunition, and a medical examination and psychological testing. Each candidate also has to undergo drug testing and physical ability testing.

Participating in the Alternate Route application process does not guarantee selection as an Alternate Route recruit, and successful completion of the Basic Training Program for Police Officers by a candidate who has been selected to participate as an Alternate Route recruit does not guarantee employment. Upon graduation, a candidate has three years to find full-time employment, at which time the certification expires.

Detailed information about the program and the necessary paperwork can be accessed online

This program is offered by the Union County Prosecutor’s Office and the Union County Police Chiefs Association, and it is managed in accordance to the guidelines set forth by the New Jersey Police Training Commission. The Alternate Route program was resumed for 2013 after a two-year hiatus by the state.