Cops “walking the beat” in Hoboken
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.
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.
- 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!