Can you make the grade?

The New Jersey State Police is about to launch a new campaign to attract women and men to join their ranks. An online application process begins July 5.

“It is the most phenomenally rewarding profession and calling that somebody can enter into. The salary, the benefits, the pension once you retire is also very lucrative,” Superintendent Pat Callahan said.

He said it’s easy to complain from a distance about various problems and issues “but this is an opportunity for women and men, not only in New Jersey but from around the country, to become part of change. As we like to say ignite change.”

Do something special

Callahan said he believes this is an opportunity for people who care about serving others to step forward and become part of something bigger and better than themselves.

He noted the State Police is especially focused on recruiting women and minority members.

“I think you need to start almost in elementary school and we do programs to show the full scope of what the New Jersey State Police is all about so that women and minorities want to be a part of it," he said.

“If young boys and girls see women and minorities in this uniform, it sets a little bit of a spark inside of them and says, boy, if he did that or she did that I think I could be a part of that.”

The 159th New Jersey State Police Class in July 2019 (NJ State Police)
The 159th New Jersey State Police Class in July 2019 (NJ State Police)
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Callahan noted this pool of candidates will serve to be the recruits for the next two or three years depending on how many apply.

"We’re talking about impacting the next 25 or 30 years of the State Police and that’s why it’s so critically important that we have not only a solid response, but that it also represents the demographics of the state of New Jersey.”

Complete information about recruitment is at njtrooper.com.

The recruitment drive will go for 4 weeks, and he said “hopefully we will be able to attract 10,000 qualified candidates to apply to become troopers.”

David Matthau is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at david.matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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See the Must-Drive Roads in Every State

These are the best hiking spots in New Jersey

A trip to New Jersey doesn't have to be all about the beach. Our state has some incredible trails, waterfalls, and lakes to enjoy.

From the Pine Barrens to the Appalachian Trail to the hidden gems of New Jersey, you have plenty of options for a great hike. Hiking is such a great way to spend time outdoors and enjoy nature, plus it's a great workout.

Before you go out on the trails and explore some of our listeners' suggestions, I have some tips on hiking etiquette from the American Hiking Society.

If you are going downhill and run into an uphill hiker, step to the side and give the uphill hiker space. A hiker going uphill has the right of way unless they stop to catch their breath.

Always stay on the trail, you may see side paths, unless they are marked as an official trail, steer clear of them. By going off-trail you may cause damage to the ecosystems around the trail, the plants, and wildlife that live there.

You also do not want to disturb the wildlife you encounter, just keep your distance from the wildlife and continue hiking.

Bicyclists should yield to hikers and horses. Hikers should also yield to horses, but I’m not sure how many horses you will encounter on the trails in New Jersey.
If you are thinking of bringing your dog on your hike, they should be leashed, and make sure to clean up all pet waste.

Lastly, be mindful of the weather, if the trail is too muddy, it's probably best to save your hike for another day.

I asked our listeners for their suggestions of the best hiking spots in New Jersey, check out their suggestions:

New Jersey's license plate designs through the years