Applications to serve in the New Jersey State Police will be accepted starting in May for the first time in over two years.

Officials announced Thursday online applications will be accepted from May 7-29 at NJTrooper.com. Applications have not been accepted since February 2010.

Gov. Chris Christie has included funding for two new classes of troopers in his budget, which would amount to about 225 new officers. There are more than 2,700 troopers currently serving, a significant number of whom are reaching retirement age.

State officials say community outreach efforts are under way to try to achieve more diversity.

The NAACP has been pressing the state police to strengthen recruitment of blacks. Blacks represent about 14 percent of New Jersey’s population. But only about 6 percent of troopers are black.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)