Safety & Security of Hoboken at Risk

Safety & Security of Hoboken at Risk
June 6, 2006

Dear Hoboken Reporter:

On behalf of the police officers of the Hoboken Police Department’s PBA, I am compelled to bring to your attention a serious public safety dilemma. At present Hoboken’s police force is dangerously deficient in patrol officer staffing. Mayor Roberts, all City Council members and the Public Safety Committee were made aware of this dire situation and placed on notice in recent communications from the PBA. 

The present staffing number of police officers mandated by the City’s Table of Organization in the Police Department calls for 120 police officers. Our present number, excluding supervisors, is at 93 which represent a shortage of 27 officers. That’s 27 less police officers available to respond to 911 emergency calls, general calls for service, and less officers to proactively patrol our streets and roadways. Unfortunately, my communications have fallen upon deaf ears within this administration, and a dangerous public safety issue is being dismissed and ignored.  Our elected officials have a moral and ethical obligation to ensure that our City, its residents, families, visitors and businesses are fully protected and safeguarded first and foremost. 

Public safety should always be a top priority for this Administration; however this issue and many like it have been viewed as unimportant, unnecessary and a wasteful expense.  I say: “Be frightened. Be angry. But don’t you dare be shocked.” for this has been the philosophy of this Mayor and City Council with respect to policing and the public’s safety. The time for local public safety bliss born of ignorance by our elected officials has long passed. 

Hoboken has been experiencing record decreases in overall crime of which credit for such can only be attributed to the hard working members of the police department and chief of police and NOT any of our elected officials. However, it is probable that crime would increase as a result of less police officers patrolling our community. Video surveillance cameras strategically placed and peppered throughout our city is NOT a solution to crime prevention or reduction. Such methods simply capture and record crimes in progress and don’t prevent their happenings.

Our elected officials pontificate at council meetings and in print news that they are strong public safety advocates [which they are not] and more cameras are the solution to crime prevention [which they are not]. They are delusional and clueless with respect to proven and effective policing practices.  Cameras are simply tools to aide in policing if used properly and ethically.  I wouldn’t be surprised if future brainstorming by our elected officials chose to purchase and utilize card board “cop” standees as a substitute for hiring live police officers, to save money.  Is it the City Council’s rationale that because crime is down with fewer officers on patrol, then additional officers are not necessary? Such a distorted and irrational theory like such is not only dangerous but negligent at worse. It’s similar to saying you should discard your home smoke detectors because you haven’t had a fire and don’t need them anymore.

A shortage of police officers not only places our existing officers at a serious safety risk but also places the public in danger as well. We are the City’s first, last and only line of defense and until this Administration takes action our ability to hold that line will erode.

Help us best serve and protect you by contacting Mayor Roberts and your Council representatives and demand that they stop playing “Russian Roulette” with your safety and fill the vacancies of police officers before its too late. 

Respectfully yours,
Vincent T. Lombardi, President
Hoboken Policemen’s Benevolent Association

Comments (0)

New comments are currently disabled.

Email to Friend

Fill in the form below to send this article to a friend:

Email to Friend
* Your Name:
* Your Email:
* Friend's Name:
* Friend's Email:
* Security Image:
Security Image Generate new
Copy the numbers and letters from the security image
* Message: