Hoboken Police Community Meeting

2/21/2011:

Hoboken Police and Housing Residents Share Ideas

“Hoboken Police Chief Anthony Falco and the Community Policing Division hosted a community meeting on February 15th for residents of the Hoboken Housing Authority.

Falco invited Lt. Charlie Campbell, Sgt. Melissa Gigante, and police officers William Oquendo and Jason Falco, to speak with residents about the force’s efforts at the public housing buildings and to understand their safety concerns.”

“The Chief welcomed residents to listen to what he described as his “First Quarterly Report” of 2011. Falco spoke about the bonds of trust being established between housing residents and the police officers assigned to their neighborhoods. He said he can tell significant progress is being made because housing residents are now regularly coming to the police with questions and suggestions.

At the meeting, residents complained about doors not staying locked and unwanted visitors ringing their bells throughout the night. Gigante reminded residents to ask their visitors to sign in at the buildings. She also announced that elevators are now being equipped with security cameras.

“We are here to take criticism also,” Falco told the neighbors.

Campbell, who heads the night shift, reported that 20 arrests were made on housing authority property between Feb. 1 through Feb. 15 for a variety of offenses.

“We want to send the message that it’s hot here,” said Campbell, referring to the stepped up police presence.

Resident La-Trenda Ross asked about the possibility of adding more recreation programs for the children during the summer. Gigante spoke about the upcoming youth police academy during the summer. She was also open to exploring other options.

Officers reminded residents that the force offers a free after-school program for housing authority children from 2:30 to 5 p.m. The Community Policing Division oversees the outreach program for all residents between the ages of 8 and 14 where officers help the students with their homework and then play games or create crafts.

Gigante is hoping to acquire a gaming system and eventually hold a gaming tournament. She also welcomed anyone with a specific talent to share their knowledge by volunteering to spend some time with the kids. Falco joked that he would teach break dancing.”

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