Cops “walking the beat” in Hoboken

7/29/2008:

Here’s a subject that is often debated in town: Does Hoboken utilize enough “walking police patrols?”

It’s been referenced countless times within the confines of Hoboken411. Whether it’s the police salaries, or the SWAT scandal, or any recent crime, it seems as if residents don’t feel that we have enough of them. Many think it’s just lazy cops driving around, or frolicking on their scooters.

hoboken-walking-police-officers-foot-patrol.jpg

Coincidentally, I’ve been having an offline conversation/debate with a 411 reader about some of the lingo used on the Live Hoboken Police and Fire Scanner. This reader was “surprised” to hear the phrase “All 4-12 (shift) walking personnel 10-12 (report to command)” (they say that near the end of every single shift.) Since I’ve heard that statement 1000’s of times now, I presumed it to mean all patrol units in the “field” (walking, driving or otherwise), as opposed to desk officers, etc. My thought was, “why would they only call in officers on foot?”

As I was walking around 3am yesterday, lo behold, I spotted an officer on foot! I asked him if the foot patrols have been increased, and how many are usually keeping an eye on the streets. I recall him saying there weren’t any recent increases in foot patrols, and there are typically around eight officers on foot at a given time. He was kind and friendly enough to answer my simple inquiry.

Observations:

  • Judging by the expression on the officer I spoke with last night, I believe the “foot patrol” to be the least desirable job to have as a police officer. Whether it be for the good of the community or not, my bet is that it’s considered a “menial” and “hard to do” job. Remember the demotions? I think as you progress up the seniority ladder in the department, you get the “benefits” of an air-conditioned squad car, and so on. It’s a sought after role in the department.
  • Is eight walking officers enough? In our town, I don’t think so. Perhaps that’s why many residents often don’t even know we have them. How much territory can they cover? How much are they supposed to cover? I’d say we need more than double that number to have a decent presence in town. Perhaps if we didn’t have the vehicular issues that plague us, we’d be able to increase that number painlessly.
  • I now believe the reason they call out “all walking personnel” 15 minutes prior to the end of each shift, is to give them time to walk back to Police Headquarters. Rolling squad cars wouldn’t need such “advance notice” to end their shift. Make sense to you? It does to me now!

Not sure why each officer in Hoboken decided to become a cop, but I’d think that any officer that has a true desire to help the community wouldn’t care how they did it. Whether via foot, scooter, horse, or car, they should be proud to serve as a layer of protection for the law-abiding citizens of our city. I mean, I’ve never seen a mailman in Hoboken pissed they have to walk each and every day to deliver mail. Maybe the “walking” part wasn’t in the “Do you want to be a Police Officer?” brochure at the high school career days?

Either way, as much as complaints about cops in town fly around, I do have a great respect for the officers that do their job properly (and there are many on the HPD staff). If you listened to that silly radio as much as I did, you wouldn’t have the same “anti-cop” sentiment that many residents have. Try it one day, you’d be surprised!

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22 Comments on "Cops “walking the beat” in Hoboken"


UrbanRose
Member
UrbanRose
8 years 1 month ago

I am really glad to hear of more police presence on the street and walking cops; however, history has proven some cops cannot be trusted i.e.: GPS episode/hooters etc. So, I hope there is some sort of tracking device for these walking cops. Maybe GPS in any part of their equipment. Otherwise, as the weather changes, some of these cops will be “MIA”.

YipYap
Member
8 years 1 month ago

The HPD has allot of healing to do, perhaps a new Chief who is selected from out of town and out of state can work on healing the HPD.

jc1305us
Member
jc1305us
8 years 1 month ago

Outsider,
It’s easy to disparage the cop on the beat. Why don’t you walk around for 8 hours with 25 lbs of equipment on your belt, in the heat and cold, rain and sun while answering radio runs and making the city safer. Oh that’s right, you work in an air conditioned office all day, and have never walked a beat. So unless you have, keep quiet about things you know nothing about!

Journey
Member
Journey
8 years 1 month ago

[quote comment=”96074″]yeah, i’m sure some people get screwed up because of things used as “punishment”. don’t get me wrong….i’ll be a big advocate of punishment for my kids….but i just think that walking the beat is much more valuable than giving it as a demotion or to newbies measures it.

it’s too bad that it has a negative connotation, it’s something that is very effective and they should enjoy that job.[/quote]

I’ve been thinking about what to do when my little one will need some ‘correction’. Chores and homework are something that would be a constant. So I think I’ll go with loss of privileges. I know this was minor (nothing I did wrong really) but as kid I had trouble with saying the ‘th’ at the ends of words. To reinforce what the speech therapist did, I had to pay a dime every time I was caught saying it wrong, and at the end of the week if I had not been caught, I got a buck. They did the same thing with the word ‘ain’t’. It made me work on remembering to get it right until I didn’t think about it any longer.

nacholibre
Member
nacholibre
8 years 1 month ago

I don’t think all cops see it as the bottom of the ladder, but I know for a fact, most probably would not want to be a 24/7 foot cop. Back home, I recall an article about one Baltimore officer who had chosen to stay a foot cop for something like 30 years because he loved knowing the neighborhood and interacting with people all day long. My old PD required us to do at least 2 foot patrols a shift in public places like malls, parks, and so on. I liked getting out of the car just for variety’s sake. One saying in police work is that you can never know how many crimes you prevent just by being seen…and people seeing a cop not blowing through the area in a car does make a difference. These days they call it “community policing”, but really it’s just a return to basics and I am all for it combined with regular cruiser patrols.

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