TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Nellie Pou allowing a person who passed the civil service test for the position of police officer of firefighter but could not take the job because of active duty in the military to be put on a subsequent eligibility list cleared the full Senate today.
Under current law, if a person has passed a civil service examination for the position of police officer or firefighter, but cannot accept the position because of active duty in the National Guard or the Reserves, then that person is allowed to be put on a subsequent eligibility list under certain conditions. However, in that period of time, if the person reaches the age limit for the position, in most cases 35 years old, then they would arbitrarily lose their eligibility.
S-1856 would allow any military member who has passed a civil service examination for the position of police officer or firefighter, but who could not accept the position because of active duty in the National Guard or the Reserves, to have their name placed a subsequent eligible list, designated by the person, for the same type of position, even though that person is not meeting the age requirement anymore. The qualifying age would be extended.
“We need to offer these brave men and women the chance to pursue their dreams as a police officer or firefighter. A person should not lose eligibility because they are overseas fighting and they turn 35,” said Senator Pou (D-Bergen and Passaic). “This legislation will provide opportunities to service men and women who are qualified for law enforcement and firefighter positions and who want to serve their communities.”
The bill cleared the full Senate 40-0 and will now head to the Assembly for further consideration.