Signed into law on July 21, 2022, P.L.2022, c.65 established a police licensing system in the State. The law creates a licensure process with uniform standards and criteria for hiring, firing, and discipling officers. The Police Training Commission (PTC) is tasked with overseeing the implementation of the licensure process and with adopting training and fitness qualification standards for all law enforcement officers. On August 10, 2023 the PTC adopted rules effectuating its role.
The new licensing standards effect municipal recruiting and retention, as the program requires all law enforcement officers to hold valid, active licenses issued by the PTC in order to be employed as a law enforcement officer in New Jersey.
All existing and future hires must achieve and maintain licenses based on the PTC's standards.
Overview of the Statewide Licensing Program
- A license is good for three years before it must be renewed.
- Law enforcement officers employed prior to the July 22, 2023 adoption of P.L. 2022, c.65,
- Passing a psychological examination.
- Maintaining post-academy, ongoing, professional training requirements set by the PTC.
- Forbid engaging in conduct including social media posts or being an active member of a group that advocates for the violent overthrow of the government or for discrimination based on classes protected by the Law Against Discrimination.
Licenses would be subject to renewal three years after issuance. The PTC would be authorized after a hearing to suspend, revoke, place conditions upon, or deny licenses.
In addition, employing law enforcement agencies would be required to inform the PTC of any separation from employment of a licensed officer. Prior to a hearing, an employer would be required to request from the PTC the reasons why an applicant was separated from any prior law enforcement employment.
Police Training Commission Licensing Rules
In April 2023, the PTC published and opened for comment draft rules.
On August 10, 2023, at a special meeting, the PTC adopted final rules (PDF) but a copy was not made publicly available until they were published in the September 5 Register.
The rules were mostly adopted as they were presented in the April draft except, after considerable concerns were raised from commentors, the PTC removed the provision from the final rule that would have required license applicants to provide access to outwardly facing social media accounts and provide a listing of memberships to certain groups. The PTC has said that they will continue to review the rules related to social media and group membership, and may address them at another time.
Summary of PTC Standards
The League is working to review the recently adopted PTC standards and provide a comprehensive summary and analysis. Please revisit this webpage to view at a later date.