New Jersey Police Academy
What is the Alternate Route Program?
The State of New Jersey Police Training Commission (PTC) currently oversees 12 separate “Alternate Route Programs” in the county police academies throughout the state. Each of the participating police academies have their own competitive processes to select the top candidates to attend the regular basic police officer training program with the full-time permanent officers. Each selection process involves a written test, physical assessment, interviews, etc. There are no residency preferences or requirements in each process. The number of candidates admitted to an academy in each class varies as well. Generally, each academy admits between 5 and 16 Alternate Route Program recruits per class. Most (not all) of the academies dedicate up to 50% of the available slots to those with military service credentials.
If selected, the candidate pays a basic tuition fee and is responsible for purchasing all of the necessary equipment and supplies. The cost varies tremendously from one academy to the next, so it is important to know exactly what is necessary for each. The general guideline is that the most expensive academies are in the north, and as you work your way south, the costs drop.
Upon graduation, the Alternate Route Program recruits are eligible to be hired full-time with a police department and will then be awarded their PTC Certification and a Police Officer. This is an exceptional process that is likely to be expanded over time in New Jersey. Many police departments have begun recruiting new hires directly from the police academies.