You think crime is going down?
Crime continues to rise in Hoboken…
Just a brief “quality of life” update this morning…
Home burglaries are definitely going up in Hoboken this year. Regardless of what you hear from City Hall, or what sugar-coated statistics are released – crime is on the rise.
It’s almost like Russian Roulette for many apartment dwellers in Hoboken – praying they’re not the next victim of a “Cold B & E” (breaking and entering while they’re away).
Listening to the Hoboken Live Police & Fire Action Channel on Hoboken411 – there must be at least half a dozen reports of residents coming home to a burglarized apartment every single day now. I guess cutting the police force to hand your friends pay raises wasn’t a very good idea for the community, Ms. Zimmer!
Now back to your regularly scheduled programming (oh and see letter PBA President Lombardi sent out after the jump…)
Proof that Crime is up – not down – in Hoboken, NJ
Unless you’re one of the five people that attended Mayor Dawn Zimmer’s “State of the City” sugar-coating session last month – you know for sure that crime is up in Hoboken.
Despite real evidence, the city keeps trying to fool the public into believing that everything is rainbows and unicorns here in the Mile Square. The truth is – it’s not.
Today, Hoboken Police Union Presidents Vince Lombardi and Edmond Drishti sent out an alarming letter that shines light on what the REAL “state of” our city actually is. Read on, and consider yourself informed.
Hoboken Police Unions set facts straight; expose lies from Mayor Zimmer
TO: The Great Citizens, Taxpayers, Business Owners and Visitors of Hoboken
FROM: Vince Lombardi, PBA President & Edmond Drishti, PSOA President
SUBJECT: Crime in Hoboken – Police Union Call for Action
When a society experiences sustained economic recession, a lack of proactive police presence, violent and nonviolent crime will almost always increase and spread like a cancer. It is an indisputable fact that lawlessness, anti-social behavior and criminality has increased in our community.
Anyone who has monitored local and regional media or personally observed, been victimized or shared stories of the aforementioned would have to agree. We have on many occasions stressed the need for increased police personnel to this administration. However, our pleas fall on deaf or dismissive ears.
In 2010, we strongly advocated and rallied concerned citizens against a proposed plan to lay off 18 police officers and demote of 19 supervisors. Had this City Administration’s plan of action come to pass, and 18 officers fired, it would have more severely impacted our ability to provide adequate protection to our community. Our police department has since lost, through retirements, a number of police officers nearly equal to those which were targeted for termination, without being replenished, in addition to the retirements of senior pay grade captains, lieutenants and sergeants.
Although all the junior pay grade supervisors who were unfairly demoted have since been re-promoted, there are still vacancies in the supervisory ranks. The vacancies created have NOT been filled and there appears no relief in sight. The members of the police department have been demoralized, and disenfranchised by the city’s actions and present inaction.
Dishonest Mayor Zimmer neglects to mention real crime figures
To make matters worse, crime has increased, contrary to Mayor Dawn Zimmer’s recent ‘State of the City’ address, in which she craftily reports crime is down by 16%! Actually, the percentage fact reported was a ruse cherry-picked from a more inclusive ‘City of Hoboken [2010 & 2011] Crime Comparison’ report. (See ‘City of Hoboken Crime Comparison’ report at the end of letter.)
In this same report, which the Mayor used to state the “16%” reduction in crime, it clearly shows that crime has increased. The Mayor falls short of mentioning in her ‘State of the City Address’ that the 16% figure is actually the ‘Crime Rate [per 1000]’ census population percentile calculation and not the complete assessment of crime in our city.
On the actual comprehensive ‘City of Hoboken Crime Comparison’ document [which is public information] the Mayor chose not to mention that ‘Violent Crime Rate’ has increased by 20%, and the overall ‘Crime Index’ also increased by 4.1%.
As a matter of fact, to be clear:
- Rape increased by 25%
- Robbery increased by 88%
- Aggravated Assault increased by 36%
- Burglary increased by 3.6%
- Motor Vehicle Theft increased by 21%
- VIOLENT CRIME in our City has increased by 50% and the VIOLENT CRIME RATE [per 1000] also increased by 20%
If this administration elects to use crime stats, then we strongly suggest that the Mayor or her Public Safety Director reveal all the facts to the public.
How can Hoboken safety be a “top priority” when understaffed?
Your safety is of chief concern to us as well as your right to know the complete truth in our crime statistics. In March of 2011, the police unions reached common ground with the City and settled our labor contracts which collectively included substantial immediate and significant future cost savings to taxpayers of Hoboken. Since 2008, 33 senior top-pay police officers and supervisors have retired yielding approximately $3.8 million in raw salary savings alone.
The city is also being funded directly from the federal government approximately $540,000 annually to pay the salaries of police officers assigned exclusively to patrol the Hoboken Housing Authority (HHA) properties. Presently, the city has 8 officers and 3 supervisors to this task. However, because of serious staffing level shortages on other shifts responsible for city-wide policing, the city may very well have to remove some or all of these officers from HHA patrol.
The mayor consistently states, “…public safety is my top priority.” However, the city has not hired full-time replacement police officers and even cut police services. The Mayor and Public Safety Director seem to be only concerned about saving money, and refuse to hire replacement officers or fill supervisor staffing vacancies. As a consequence to these cuts and staffing deficiencies, we no longer have a ‘Community Policing Bureau’ – a specialized unit to educate citizens in crime prevention, exclusively address and correct quality of life concerns and help organize ‘Block Watch Programs, while providing much needed walking and bicycle patrols. We have no officers in our schools protecting your children and providing D.A.R.E (Drug Awareness Resistance Education) or G.R.E.A.T. (Gang Resistance Education And Training) at a time when juvenile delinquency in our schools has increased. We only have a one-man ‘Alcohol, Beverage Control & Enforcement Bureau’ to police over 120 liquor licensed establishments, and a depleted and overburdened Traffic Enforcement Bureau. The last time the city hired new officers was in February of 2008 and we are in dire and desperate need of new officers.
Presently, there are hundreds of fully trained police officers who have been laid-off throughout the state that could quickly be hired to fill our vacancies and a standing civil service list of new prospective applicants in wait.
However, time is passing us by and our community is in jeopardy of continued increases in crime and diminished quality of life each day this administration drags its feet.
Hoboken Police Dept. at lowest staffing level in 17 years
The Hoboken Police Department is at its lowest staffing levels since 1995 and at a time when 50,000 residents pack our mile square city and tens of thousands more visit and commute regularly. At the behest of the newly appointed public safety director, we have been reduced to a purely reactive police force for the purpose of protecting and preserving a budget bottom line. We strongly challenge this purely political philosophy because the public safety must be the priority. It is our opinion that Public Safety Director Jon L. Tooke has changed the departments present staffing to potentially dangerous levels especially on the day and midnight shifts.
In our opinion, Director Tooke’s ‘police management text-book style’ staffing and Department re-organization policy approach fails to work but has also resulted in delays in response time, unbalanced and inadequate shift staffing, officer fatigue and frustration with vacation time being denied and heavy service call and case management due to ‘man-power’ shortages because overtime has been highly discouraged or totally disallowed.
Presently, we are staffed with ONLY 89 police officers [to police an entire City 24-7, 365 days a year], 26 sergeants, 12 lieutenants, 2 captains and 1 chief. Even more alarming is the reality, of which the city has been made well aware, is that 27 veteran officers will be eligible to retire in 2013.
And, if all retire [as expected and anticipated] without pre-replacement officers, our department will be reduced by 21% of its current operating strength! In 2011, the police department responded to 58,335 service calls which included 1,224 adult arrests and 60 juvenile custodial arrests.
Again, the City seems to be focused on only providing police on the cheap! Their plan is to hire seasonal part-time Special Police Officers like Jersey shore communities. Part-time/seasonal officers are not the answer and definitely NOT the solution to our public safety problems or staffing needs; that is pure political window dressing.
We implore Mayor Zimmer to act swiftly and authorize the hiring of a minimum of 15 full time police officers to plug the gap in our city’s primary line of defense and public safety preparedness with a focus on restoring those specialized units that were eliminated. The projected cost, including initial salary and benefits for these officers would be approximately $800,000 in the first year with the taxpayers still realizing a $3 million net savings from attrition. The incremental annual cost increases of these officers as they move up the salary guide would always be balanced via retirement of higher salaried employees in the ordinary course.
We call upon the City to act quickly and decisively to address these vital staffing needs. What little ground we hold in our war on crime and anti-social anarchy hangs in the balance. Give us the help we need to improve services, re-establish our omnipresence, take back ground lost and push the “barbarians back beyond the gates!” It’s that elementary.
To the citizens of Hoboken, we urge that you contact Mayor Dawn Zimmer, your elected City Council representatives and Public Safety Director Jon L. Tooke and voice your concern and demand action and the whole truth.
Vincent T. Lombardi, President
Hoboken Policemen’s Benevolent Association
Edmond Drishti, President
Hoboken Police Superior Officer’s Association
Hoboken Crime Stats Revealed
Source Data: City of Hoboken Crime Comparison report, The Jersey Journal – North Hudson Edition, Uniform Crime Reports – NJ State
Crime is going UP in Hoboken, NJ
Despite the rash of burglaries that continue plaguing Hoboken, our lovely Mayor Dawn Zimmer proudly proclaimed recently that “crime is going down.”
Despite admitting using faulty data for her sugar-coated speech recently (more on that later) – it’s nevertheless a shame that people are living in a bubble and actually believe that things are getting better around here. With less cops, and people having more interest in their smart-phones while walking on Hoboken’s streets & sidewalks – something ought to be done. One Hoboken411 reader said “what is this, Fort Apache 1977?”
Take a look at this 2010 BMW that had all four rims stolen downtown this past weekend. Surrounded by “luxury condos,” too.
Wake up people!