ELIZABETH, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – The push is on for diversity within the New Jersey State Police Department.

At a recent minority-recruitment meeting for state police officers at New Hope Memorial Baptist Church in Elizabeth, a lot of those on hand met the criteria — 85 to be exact. The pastor of the church, Rev. Steffie Bartley, helped organize the meeting.

WCBS 880’s Levon Putney reports

Only two black recruits graduated in the most recent class of 85, so state police officials are looking for more minorities to fill next year’s class of 150 cadets.

And Bartley says that 85 is a good start.

“To see two African-Americans out of 85 graduates, it just did something to me,” Bartley told WCBS 880’s Levon Putney.

Online applications for hopeful officers will be accepted from Monday through May 29th at njtrooper.com.

New Jersey residents, have you noticed a lack of diversity within the police department in your area? Offer your thoughts and opinions below…

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