Friday, April 29, 2011

Update from Mayor Dawn Zimmer Regarding Public Safety

The latest update from Mayor Dawn Zimmer regarding Public Safety......


At my request, Police Chief Falco has provided Hoboken crime statistics for 2008, 2009, 2010 and year to date for 2011. This information is now available on the City’s web site ( and  will be updated with current information every month.

My Administration monitors public safety issues carefully and makes its decisions based on our needs as reflected in the actual data. It is important that these decisions be grounded in the needs of our community and not be subject to the vagaries of the political season. Hoboken has developed a well-deserved reputation as an exciting, dynamic and safe community. It is important that all discussions about our public safety be based on accurate information. Inaccurate assertions based on incomplete data can needlessly alarm our residents and hurt Hoboken businesses and property values.

In September 2010, Chief Falco agreed to implement my Administration's police redeployment plan to increase the number of police personnel assigned to patrol our streets by 38% -- from 72 to 99 officers -- and to establish a power shift from 8pm to 4am Thursday through Saturday to increase street patrols during peak activity hours. I am proud that we were able to negotiate a fair contract with our Police unions, reduce the top-heaviness of our force and save taxpayers more than $2 million per year while increasing street patrols.

In March of this year, our community experienced an unacceptably high level of crime, including two reported rapes, during the weekend of our St. Patrick's Day parade. Twelve of the 24 violent crimes reported in March occurred on this weekend as well. Because public safety and quality of life must be our highest priorities, I made the decision to move the parade to a weekday. I did this because as Mayor, my number one responsibility is to keep our community safe.

Going forward, Chief Falco will continue to implement our redeployment plan, and I have asked him to immediately alert me if he is unable to maintain our agreed upon street patrol staffing levels.

Due to recent retirements and some officers on sick leave, I asked County Sheriff Frank Schillari to provide increased patrolling support for Hoboken during peak activity periods, including weekend nights, and he has agreed to do so. Thanks to the newly elected Sheriff, the county had already increased patrol of our county park and will now increase street patrols as well.

In addition, with the new noise ordinance, a team of noise enforcement officers, including Police officers and Parking Utility Enforcement officers, have recently completed specialized training. Decibel reading equipment will soon be received so that we can more effectively address this important quality of life concern.