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(TRENTON) — Legislation sponsored by Assembly members Connie Wagner, Craig J. Coughlin and Elease Evans allowing police officers who have been fired due to economic reasons to avoid retaking the police training course if they are rehired within a certain timeframe is now law.

“This law makes the job hunting process easier for these police officers,” said Wagner (D-Bergen). “Given the current economic times, our police officers should not have to worry about taking a course they have already gone through, in addition to finding a job.”

The new law (formerly A-3876) would exempt police officers who were laid-off for economic or efficiency reasons from retaking the basic police training course, if they are rehired by their former agency or find a job with a new agency within five years from the date their employment was terminated.

Previously under the Police Training Commission policy, a police officer who has a break in service of more than three years was required to retake the basic training course.

“We all know how tough it can be to secure a job in the current economic climate,” said Coughlin (D-Middlesex). “This will help police officers focus on the job search, without a timeline hanging over their heads.”

“Many of our police officers have lost their jobs as towns struggle to cut down costs,” said Evans (D-Bergen/Passaic). “This measure will allow our officers to get back to the important job of public safety, without worry of having to retake a course they already took.”