When I moved to Hoboken seven years ago, this mile square was a safe urban enclave and thanks to our hardworking police force, it still is. But as of late, it’s not uncommon to hear about acts of disturbing violence taking place across our city. Take the crime reports from late last week alone: on Thursday a couple was held at knifepoint and sustained a flesh wound when the perpetrator became agitated. Friday, three teenagers were held up at knife point and finally on Saturday, another couple was robbed by a man wielding a sawed off shotgun.
Earlier in the week (despite an alarming string of burglaries that has outpaced the crime statistics of previous years) the council majority passed a budget that reduced police wages by 115k. A grant application has been submitted to aid staffing, but the approval timeline and class of the officers that would result is unclear. If the grant money falls through, money can be appropriated, but the details are anything but straight forward and I believe our residents and police force deserve better. If there was ever a time to invest in policing, it’s clearly now. I am not comfortable sacrificing the safety of our neighborhood while increasing other budget lines in City Hall. I’m dumfounded how, in spite of rising crime and a growing population, the hardworking men and women of the HPD have not been given a firmer foot to stand on in this year’s budget.