Alternate Route Program

Alternate Route Program

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 $3,500.00. 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 including any required training materials.

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 and AED. The program also includes boxing, simunition training (live fire) and survival shooting.

Program Requirements

Candidates for the Alternate Route Program must be:

  1. A Citizen of the United States who is 18 years of age or older
  2. 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
  3. Able to read, write and speak the English language well and intelligently
  4. Is of good moral character and has not been convicted of any criminal offense involving moral turpitude
  5. 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.    ALL EDUCATIONAL AND OR MILITARY REQUIREMENTS MUST BE MET by July 2024.
  6. 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 will begin promptly of the time provided, 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. The Police Training Commission requires that the Alternate Route applicant successfully passes each testing component.  If a failure is received, testing will cease and the applicant will be immediately removed from the Alternate Route process.

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.
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 will be scheduled upon successfully passing the above requirements.  The applicant will be responsible for payment for the psychological assessment on the date scheduled to the testing facility. A medical examination also must be conducted prior to entrance to the Police Academy.

 2024 Alternate Route Schedule of Events
Application Link:    $110.00 Application Fee
Police Jobs on Opens in new window

Application link:   CLOSED

Physical Fitness Test: 

          CMC Police AcademyTesting date and times will be scheduled accordingly and will be notified in advance.  ***You must hold  date open in your calendars, as there will be no make up exams and all fees paid are non-refundable***
CMC Leonard C. Desiderio Public Safety Training Gymnasium
NOTE:  Locker rooms will be available to shower and change after PT testing.  

Written Exam   
Requirement:successfully completed the physical agility testing        
 Location: TBD                           
You will be notified in advance of date/time to arrive. There will be no make up date and all fees are non-refundable.
Notification of Testing Results:           TBD

Oral Interviews: TBD
          CMC Police Academy

Preliminary Acceptance:                       TBD
          Notification of Director's Meeting
          Pending oral interview, medical, psychological assessment and background investigation.
Please note: Candidate is required to provide payment $500 on the scheduled date for the psychological exam to the testing facility.

Notice of Acceptance:                          TBD
Tuition ($3500) will be due prior to Orientation ,check or money order payable to County of Cape May.

Academy Starts:AUGUST 2024/JANUARY 2025

Please apply early. Apply here for email notification of updates for application process EMAIL NOTIFICATION

We actively help all our alternate route candidates seek employment and are constantly passing on job opportunities to them. We are very proud of our placement rate. For further information contact the office at (609) 465-1134 ext 3706 or send email to Monica Mack.

Contact Us

  1. County Offices:
    William E. Sturm, Jr.
    Administration Building
    4 Moore Road
    Cape May Court House, NJ 08210
    Phone: 609-465-1000

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