TRENTON, N.J. – Police officers are constantly training to ensure they are ready for anything the job may toss their way. Courses like legal issues and homeland security are staples in most training programs. These challenging courses are often just as strenuous as courses in higher education. Assemblyman Ron Dancer understands this and wants police officers to have the ability to use their training courses as credits towards a college degree.
Dancer’s bill (A4342) would require county colleges and four-year public institutions of higher education to award college credits to police officers for certain courses completed at county police academies.
“If an officer has completed courses through their police academy training and it’s equivalent to a course at two or four-year-public institutions, then that officer should be allowed to transfer those credits,” said Dancer (R-Ocean). “If officers have already completed training equivalent to a college course, they must be allowed to use those training courses as credits to obtain a degree. Colleges already convert certain training, such as military training, into college credits so it’s only fair our officers are awarded the same opportunities.”
To make sure the course work is equivalent, the bill would require county police academies to work with colleges to identify courses taken at the county police academies that are similar to their criminal justice courses. Additionally, credits would be given for completion of the New Jersey State Police Academy.