Alternate Route

Alternate Route Program –

Applications Closed – March 31, 2015

The Cape May County Chiefs of Police Association and the Cape May County Police Academy sponsors the Alternate Route Training Program for police candidates. This program enables individuals to enroll in the Basic Course for Police Officers without first being hired by a police agency. Our residential based academy allows Alternate Route Candidates to live and train right alongside regular police recruits.

Graduates of this program will qualify for New Jersey Police Training Commission Certification making them more marketable to police agencies. A large percentage of our graduates are hired by police agencies within one year of their graduation from this program. Some are hired while still in the academy.

What is the Alternate Route Program?

The Alternate Route Training Program allows a civilian to enter the police academy without first being hired by a police agency. The Alternate Route Candidate trains alongside the regular police recruit and is treated as their equal during training. The Alternate Route Candidate is responsible for all costs associated with their training, presently about $3,300.00. Although this might seem like a large sum, the program includes meals and lodging, issued laptop computer and a computer lab for use by the recruits.

The program is twenty-two weeks in length and requires the recruit to reside Monday through Friday at the Training Facility. Course of study includes History of Law Enforcement, The Criminal Justice System, Stress, Ethics, Community Policing, Criminal Law, Arrest, Search and Seizure, Use of Force, Communications, Vehicle Operations, Emergency Medical Care, Firearms, Defensive Tactics, Chemical Agents, Patrol Concepts, Traffic Enforcement, Criminal Investigation, and Physical Fitness.

Additionally the recruit receives certification in CPR, AED, Red Cross Community Water Rescue and Radar. The program also includes boxing, simunition training (live fire) and survival shooting.

Program Requirements

Candidates for the Alternate Route Program must be:

  • A Citizen of the United States who is 18 years of age or older
  • Is sound in body and of good health sufficient to satisfy the Board of Trustees of the Police and Firemen’s Retirement system of N.J. as to eligibility for membership in the retirement system
  • Able to read, write and speak the English language well and intelligently
  • Is of good moral character and has not been convicted of any criminal offense involving moral turpitude
  • Minimum of 60 academic credits or individuals who have served in the military and have not earned 60 credits, but can substitute two years of full-time, active duty military service, or combination of college credits and full time active duty military service to satisfy the education requirements
  • Pass a rigorous selection process, including a written examination, a physical fitness test, oral interview, psychological evaluation, medical exam, and a full background check prior to attending.


Applicants must present photo ID at each phase of testing. There are three initial phases of testing.

Physical Fitness Test – Testing begins at 8:30am promptly, no one will be admitted after that time on test day. Application fees will not be refunded to anyone arriving late. Candidates must pass all five Physical Fitness tests in order to continue on to the written test.

This test will be pass/fail consisting of the following five events with the following minimum standards:
1.5 mile run must be completed at or before 15 minutes and 55 seconds 300 meter run must be completed within 70.1seconds
Vertical jump of at least 15 inches
At least 24 proper pushup repetitions in 1minute At least 28 proper sit-up repetitions in 1minute
Written Test – This examination consists of 60% of the overall score and is held the same date of the Physical Fitness test.
Oral interview – Interviews will be conducted by a panel of Law Enforcement Professions and will consist of 40% of the final score.
Background investigation – Investigations will be conducted due to the limited number of Alternate Route Recruits allowed in a class. Those who have a questionable background in regards to prior arrests, improper conduct or serious/excessive motor vehicle violations will not be considered for enrollment.
Additional Testing – A psychological assessment and medical examination must be conducted prior to entrance to the Police Academy.