Public Safety

City of Hoboken Begins Process of Identifying New Fire Chief

The City of Hoboken is beginning the transition process of identifying a new Fire Chief due to the retirement of Fire Chief Richard Blohm, who has indicated that he will be retiring on June 1, 2015. The City will appoint a Provisional Fire Chief in the very near future, followed by a Civil Service Chief’s test. Once Civil Service administers the Fire Chief’s exam and publishes the results, the Administration will interview candidates for the position of permanent Fire Chief. The Fire Department has been operating with an officer in charge over the past few weeks and will continue to do so until a Provisional Chief is named.

“I extend my sincere gratitude to Chief Blohm for his 38 years of service to the City of Hoboken,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “I am confident the Fire Department will build on the progress of Chief Blohm’s tenure and continue to respond to the needs of our community.”

Two Month Hoboken Investigation Leads to 15 Arrests

Hoboken Police Chief Kenneth Ferrante announced the arrests of 15 individuals for various narcotics violations in the Hoboken Housing Authority area in Hoboken. All but one of the arrests occurred on May 8, 2015, while the other occurred on May 6, 2015. The arrests took place after a two-month investigation that was performed by a collaborative effort between the Hoboken Police Narcotics Unit and the Hudson County Prosecutors Office Narcotics Task Force. The arrests followed multiple complaints by residents, stating that West Side Plaza, the strip mall with several restaurants and stores had been overrun by those who were allegedly dealing drugs in front of those stores. The investigation immediately showed an open air drug market had formed at 301 Jackson Street. The investigation also spread to several other areas around the Hoboken Housing Authority and the City of Hoboken.

“I want to thank Chief Ferrante, the Hoboken Police Department, the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, the Hudson County Sheriffs Office, NJ Transit Police, and agents from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) for working together as a team on this important investigation to ensure that every Hoboken resident feels safe in their neighborhood,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “This investigation began in response to community concerns, and I thank all the residents who raised their voices about public safety. I am proud that under the leadership of Chief Ferrante and the Hoboken Police Department, we are working proactively and collaboratively with the community and other law enforcement agencies to keep our community safe.”

Statement from Mayor Zimmer and Police Chief Ferrante

Last night, multiple police agencies responded to a bomb threat called into Hoboken Police Headquarters. The threat was made to 66 Willow Ave, the Neumann Leathers building in southern Hoboken, and police took the threat seriously and took all necessary precautions to protect the safety of residents. The building was searched multiple times by the police and was deemed to be neutralized from any threat. Due to the investigation, Observer Highway was closed to traffic and reopened early Sunday morning, once the police determined it was safe for the public.

The Hoboken Police Department is still investigating the person who called in the threat, and is working with the Hudson County Prosecutor’s office and the FBI Joint Terrorism Taskforce to determine where the call came from.

Police Chief Ken Ferrante gave the following account: At approximately 7:35 p.m., a call was made into police headquarters from a male who stated that he had a bomb and threatened to blow up 66 Willow Ave. Police responded immediately and began an evacuation of the building. Upon completion of the evacuation, the individual called police headquarters again and threatened to kill himself and police, after thanking the police for evacuating the building. The individual further stated that he had several weapons and bombs, and again threatened the life of police officers.

A series of phone calls continued with a multitude of threats and demands. Based on the severity of the threats, the area surrounding the Neumann Leathers building, which is a large factory and home to over 45 artist and music studios, was shut down. Observer Highway, Newark Street and Willow Avenue were closed and a frozen zone was placed around the building. During the night, the Port Authority Emergency Services Unit performed critical services as the officers performed three searches of the building for the individual and then went in a fourth time with bomb sniffing dogs from New Jersey Transit Police, Jersey City Police and the Hudson County Sheriff’s Department. At 2:30 a.m. the scene was deemed to be clear and safe. 

Update on Police Activity in Southern Hoboken

Based on a phone call made by an individual to the Hoboken Police Department, multiple law enforcement agencies responded to a bomb threat in southern Hoboken. Police are taking the call seriously and certain roads were closed as a precaution to ensure the safety of the community. A series of checks of the building have proved negative, but law enforcement is still investigating the call. Additional information regarding this situation will be provided as soon as possible. The following roads will remain closed until further notice:

  • Observer Highway (from Park Ave to Henderson St/Marin Blvd)
  • Willow Avenue (from 1st St to Observer Hwy)
  • Newark Street (from Jefferson St to Willow Ave)

Drivers are advised to expect traffic delays and to seek alternate routes if possible.

Hoboken Community Invited to Fire Department Promotions Ceremony


The City of Hoboken invites all members of the public to attend a promotions ceremony for members of the Hoboken Fire Department. The ceremony will be held on Friday, March 20th, 2015 at 1:30pm in the City Council Chambers at Hoboken City Hall, 94 Washington Street.

Firefighters Matthew Markey and Walter J. Lehbrink will be promoted to the rank of Fire Captain. Recently retired firefighters Alexander Badamo and Thomas Cutillo will also be honored for their service to the community.

Crime & Ambulance Calls at All-Time Lows for Hoboken St. Patrick’s Day

Since the Hoboken St. Patrick’s Day parade was last held in 2011, there has been a dramatic reduction in crime during the annual St. Patrick’s Day event, an event organized by various Hoboken bars and restaurants. This year there were 39 ambulance calls, a 58% reduction since 2011, 11 arrests, a 68% reduction since 2011, and 95 summonses issued for quality of life violations such as open containers and urinating in public, a 68% reduction since 2011. Five bars received tavern sheets: two for assaults, two for overcrowding, and one for a medical issue.

“A big thank you to the Hoboken Police Department, Fire Department, Office of Emergency Management, Volunteer Ambulance Corps, Community Emergency Response Team, Parking Utility and sanitation team,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “There has been a huge drop in crime and quality of life issues and a reduction in public safety costs since the last year of the parade in 2011. In addition, the Police Department received only three calls regarding house parties this year. I especially want to thank Chief Ferrante for his proactive and cost-effective policing approach and Lieutenant DeTrizio and Sergeant Aguiar for their quick action that saved a man’s life in an unrelated suicide attempt that night.”

“Ambulance calls and arrests are at all-time lows – strong indications that instances of major fights and dangerous intoxication are greatly reduced,” said Police Chief Kenneth Ferrante. “Instead of having to react to fights and other emergencies which take officers away from their assignments, they could stay at their posts and focus on proactively controlling crowds. As a result of the decreased amount of arrests, large fights, and persons going to hospitals which takes officers off the street, more officers were able to focus their attention on quality of life issues.”

Public Invited to Police Promotions Ceremony

The City of Hoboken invites all members of the public to attend a promotions ceremony for seven members of the Hoboken Police Department. The ceremony will be held on Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015 at 3:00pm in the City Council Chambers at Hoboken City Hall, 94 Washington Street.

Lieutenant Kevin Cruz is retiring and will be honored at the ceremony. Police Sergeant John Petrosino will be promoted to Police Lieutenant. Police Officers Saverio R. Binetti, Jonathan Butler, Arbend Drishti, Edward M. Sellick, Steven C. Kranz, and Robert Fulton will be promoted to Police Sergeant.

Hoboken Police Department Enhances Park Patrols, Increases Night & Weekend Presence & Expands Customer Service Hours

Certified Bike Patrol Officers to Begin Bike Education and Enforcement

Since becoming Chief of Police on December 1, 2014, Chief Kenneth Ferrante has implemented a series of changes in the Hoboken Police Department to improve operations and service to the community. The changes include significantly increased police presence on nights and weekends, enhanced patrols of the waterfront and parks, tripling the size and expanding the enforcement hours of the Traffic Division, new Saturday hours for the Bureau of Identification, expanded hours for the Bureau of Investigation, and expanded officer training.

“In just a matter of weeks, Chief Ferrante has made tremendous improvements that residents are already noticing on the street,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “I commend him and all of our Police Officers for the work they do every day to keep us safe.”

“In January, we had only four reported burglaries and four motor vehicle thefts,” said Police Chief Kenneth Ferrante. “I attribute these exceptionally low crime rates to our expanded night patrols and to the recent arrests of six package thieves which took six career criminals off our streets. Our detectives and officers working these important shifts deserve tremendous credit. It wasn’t long ago that Hoboken had over 700 car thefts per year, but we are continuing to reduce crime and make our community even safer than it already is.”

Hoboken Travel Ban In Effect as of 9:00pm

For the safety of all citizens, a vehicular travel ban will be in effect for the City of Hoboken as of 9:00pm on Monday, January 26, 2015.

Vehicular traffic will be restricted only to public safety personnel, medical professionals, mass transit operators, and public works and sanitation personnel. Vehicular travel by all others is restricted until further notice.

Stranded vehicles will hinder emergency response and plowing operations.

The City appreciates the community’s cooperation with moving cars from snow emergency routes. Parking in snow emergency routes remains prohibited until further notice.

As a reminder, all non-emergency questions and concerns can be reported to Emergency Operations Center by calling 201-239-6644.

PATH service will operate on a weekend schedule beginning at 9pm and will be suspended at 11pm until further notice.

The Hoboken Parking Utility will close on Monday at 8pm and reopen on Tuesday at 9:30am.

Blizzard Warning in Effect; Snow Emergency Declared for Hoboken

The City of Hoboken Office of Emergency Management has declared a snow emergency in advance of a major winter storm forecast to impact our area. The National Weather Service has issued a Blizzard Warning for a “crippling and possibly historic blizzard” from Monday, January 26 at 1:00pm through midnight on Tuesday, January 27. Snow accumulations of 20 to 30 inches or more, wind gusts up to 65 mph, life-threatening conditions, and extremely dangerous travel are forecast.

Parking is prohibited on all snow emergency routes effective 9:00pm on January 25, 2015 until further notice. Vehicles are subject to towing. This is necessary to move police, fire and ambulances for the safety and welfare of all our citizens.

In addition, parking is prohibited on both sides of Vezzetti Way (parallel to Observer Highway). The area will be used for dumping snow.

Alternate side parking regulations are suspended until further notice. All other parking regulations remain in effect.