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New Jersey State Police actively recruiting diverse group of candidates for upcoming application period

N.J. State Police actively recruiting diverse group of candidates for upcoming applications
N.J. State Police actively recruiting diverse group of candidates for upcoming applications 02:36

TRENTON, N.J. -- With figures showing that more and more people are leaving law enforcement, the New Jersey State Police is actively recruiting the next generation of troopers.

As CBS New York's Christine Sloan reports, the agency is looking for more women of color.

Amber Neely is one of 10 Black female troopers with the New Jersey State Police. The 32-year-old is working with her boss to change that.

"Representation to me is very important, especially being a Black female in uniform. It's very rare that you see a Black female in uniform, especially a trooper," she said.

Sloan sat down exclusively with the head of the New Jersey State Police, Col. Patrick J. Callahan. He says the agency is actively recruiting a diverse group of candidates for its application period that begins March 18.

"Although we've made certain strides, I think where we're really struggling is in women recruitment, in minority women recruitment. I think the last class, we didn't have one Black female recruit," he said. "I think the public wants to see women and men representative of the communities that they grew up in."

But the colonel says recruitment has been challenging.

"When I became a trooper, I think I was one of about 15,000 that went online or went and applied and took the test. This last class, we started with about 3,000," he said.

Callahan says the current class has about 165 recruits after 51 resigned before this year's July graduation.

"The academy is hard, it's stressful ... as is this job, but beyond that, it's also extremely rewarding," he said.

Nationwide statistics show more people are leaving the law enforcement field. Callahan believes it's partly because of the scrutiny police are under, from the body cameras they wear to those on their dashes, but it's something he says troopers need to embrace.

"When you're entrusted with that responsibility of going out there and protecting and serving, the more eyes on us, the better," Callahan said.

"I decided to be a trooper because I knew I wanted to serve, always had it in my heart to serve," Neely said.

After graduation in July, the New Jersey State Police hopes to have over 3,400 troopers. That's the most the force has ever had.

To find out more about how to apply, visit

The colonel tells Sloan starting pay as a trooper is $72,000 and top pay is $150,000.

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