TOMS RIVER - The New Jersey State Police has gained 149 new state troopers. 

The 154th New Jersey State Police recruit class graduated during ceremonies in Toms River on Friday.

Approximately one-third of the graduates are minorities and 21 percent have military experience, the New Jersey State Police says. The class started with 200 recruits.

Acting Attorney General John Hoffman and Superintendent Col. Rick Fuentes were on hand as the troopers received their badges and put on demonstrations that reflected their training.

"The state police is not only recognized as one of the finest statewide law enforcement agencies in the nation and the most visible symbol of law enforcement throughout our state, but every individual who wears a trooper's badge is recognized as a leader -- on the road, in his or her neighborhood, and in the community at large," said Acting Attorney General Hoffman."That is why it is vital that those leaders not only receive exhaustive training, but also reflect the character and composition of our great state."

"The intensive training that troopers received and the friendships they forged over the past 24 weeks will stay with them for their entire careers and beyond," said Col. Rick Fuentes. "The life of a New Jersey state trooper is more challenging than ever, but in return they are rewarded by protecting and serving our communities. As these men and women proudly wear our uniform, they will be viewed as role models and leaders.  Being a New Jersey state trooper is more than a job; it's a responsibility to lead by example."