More SWAT news
More on Kenner
Here’s more detail as to what motivated Sara Stojkovic to suggest Kenner, LA as a city in need of help. It’s a lot more than her father just “knowing” the Mayor.
Stojkovic and the Southwest Parks Coalition had frequent meetings with then Councilman Chris Campos regarding open space in Hoboken’s 4th Ward (such as the Madison Street Park renovation and other items like the Streetscape Project and the PSE&G substation). After a meeting in August 2005, Campos secured the funding for MSP in September 2005, right as the Katrina events were unfolding on TV. Stojkovic thought it was a good time to step away from the parks issue (as well as bickering and political in-fighting) and focus on assisting those in need down south.
Because her father Jim Goff knew the President of Jefferson Parish and Mayor of Kenner, she found out that Kenner wasn’t receiving aid from FEMA or the Red Cross, despite having no electricity and water. Kenner played a crucial role in support efforts because the airport was used by FEMA, the Army and President Bush. So Stojkovic thought it was a great idea to help fund Kenner with a grassroots effort to get them supplies such as water, batteries, diapers faster than going through bureaucratic organizations such as FEMA or the Red Cross. She hoped that Hoboken’s small town efforts inspired other towns to do the same.
Campos discussed this with other council members, and they agreed. They put forth an emergency resolution at the council meeting on September 7, 2005, and it was approved 9-0.
Additionally, Mayor Roberts commended the various individuals that pitched in at a following council meeting in October, 2005.
Full-time and dedicated crack reporter Charles Hack of the Journal has been poking around and came up with several new tidbits about this whole debacle. Some you may find of interest, some might just be put in the “yeah, so?” category.
1. Cops weren’t “authorized” to go to LA.
In another shining example of how our city is so grossly mismanaged, it turns out that Hoboken’s squadron of badges weren’t even under the command of the task force that the NJ State police put together. “They were freelancing” said a NJSP spokesman, “They had nothing to do with our deployment.”
The golden nugget of this is that it could mean big trouble for the HPD. According to a source that didn’t want to be identified, since they didn’t obtain approval for this “freelance gig”, they could get charged with “impersonating” an officer if they actually made any arrests. But me thinks that they’ll be off the hook, because they were probably too busy partying!!
2. More fun with guns.
Since no one got hurt, I find this to be less of a big deal, and more of a “don’t be stupid with firearms” PSA.
A photo in the Journal shows Patricia Shane, the wife of Louisiana real estate developer Henry Shane, posing with Hoboken Police Chief Carmen Labruno and other officers while holding an unloaded gun given to her by Lieutenant Angelo Andriani during a “thank you” dinner at their mansion during their first trip in 2005. Andriani said “An unloaded gun is nothing more than a paperweight”.
Mayor Roberts and Councilman Michael Russo were also at this dinner, and claimed they “didn’t see” this incident.
As a friend once told me: “Treat every gun as if it’s loaded”, and never play games even if you think you’re sure there’s no bullet in it.
(picture from the already publicized Hooters trip)
3. How was Kenner picked?
I’d consider this more of a “yeah, so?” piece. Obviously, there were many communities in the southern states that could have used all the help they could get after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the area.
I think helping out a community in need is a noble thing to do (despite doing it “without authorization”). Hack discovered that Kenner was picked based on a suggestion from Southwest Parks Coalition member Sara Stojkovic, who’s father knew Kenner Mayor Capitano. To me, it sounds like the paper is trying to bring this to light as negative news, however, my bet is that if she never suggested it, Hoboken would have never gone to Louisiana to begin with. It always takes an outsider to give the city good ideas (see: the SW6 plan that Stojkovic brought forward – Maybe SHE should be on the city payroll?.)
Mayor Roberts added that Kenner was a good choice because the “two cities have a lot in common” (as metropolitan suburbs.)
This new “breaking news” about the Hoboken PD and their trips to Louisiana pretty much reinforces what we already know very well: Our city is in need of MAJOR CHANGE, and this widely publicized (and embarrassing) news may just be enough to finally make it a reality.