Residents Urged to Review Emergency Plans and Be Prepared
The City of Hoboken Office of Emergency Management is monitoring forecasts and making preparations for two major weather systems likely to impact our area. The threat of major coastal flooding, very heavy rainfall, and inland flooding has increased for Friday and Saturday, associated with the current storm system in advance of Hurricane Joaquin. Six to eight inches of additional rain are possible in the next week. The National Weather Service has issued a Coastal Flood Advisory from Thursday 6am to Friday 6am and a Coastal Flood Watch from Friday 6am to 6pm. Hurricane Joaquin may impact the region on Sunday and into early next week and could lead to major to record flooding depending on its trajectory and strength. Prior to the possible impacts from Hurricane Joaquin, several days of heavy rain will saturate the ground and high tides caused by strong winds could make it difficult for the sewer system to naturally drain into the river.
“We are closely tracking weather forecasts, talking to experts at Stevens, and planning for a serious one-two punch from back-to-back storm systems that could cause serious flooding from late Thursday into early next week,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “Our Office of Emergency Management team is coordinating with all departments and agencies and making preparations to ensure the safety of our community. Most importantly, now is the time for residents to make sure that they have a plan in place and are prepared for all possibilities.”
The City has plans in place to activate an Emergency Operations Center and relocate flood-prone public safety operations if necessary. The City’s high water vehicle is ready to be deployed if needed, along with several small boats. The City will be moving municipal vehicles to higher ground along Washington Street between Observer Highway and 2nd Street as well as 13th Street to 14th Street. In addition, the City is pre-positioning backup generators, filling a potable water tank, and coordinating plans to open a shelter and distribution center if necessary.
The City of Hoboken invites members of the community to join its 100-strong and growing Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). State-certified trainers will hold a series of free CERT classes this fall for up to 60 participants. Those interested in joining CERT can submit an online application at: http://hoboken.seamlessdocs.com/f/cert.
“Our Community Emergency Response Team is made up of residents who care deeply about their neighbors and community,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “Joining CERT is a great way to get involved and to help make your community more resilient.”
Hoboken’s CERT volunteers have been recognized as “Community Preparedness Heroes” by FEMA, and CERT Coordinator Lou Casciano was honored as a Community Preparedness and Resilience “Champion of Change” by the White House.
The City graduated its fifth CERT class in October 2014, bringing the total number of trained volunteers to 106 members.
CERT training promotes a partnering effort between emergency services and the people that they serve. The goal is for emergency personnel to train members of neighborhoods, community organizations, or workplaces in basic response skills. CERT members are then integrated into the emergency response capability for their area. CERT members also participate in assisting with large scale community events, staffing emergency shelters, and various other ways.
If a disastrous event overwhelms or delays the community’s professional response, CERT members can assist others by applying the basic response and organizational skills that they learned during training. These skills can help save and sustain lives following a disaster until help arrives. CERT skills also apply to daily emergencies.
Participation in CERT requires the successful completion of a training course on a range of subject matter specific to emergency response and disaster relief.
All classes will be held at the Multi Service Center, 124 Grand Street starting at 9:30am sharp and concluding at 4:00pm. There will be a 1 hour lunch break between modules. The training schedule is as follows:
10/24/2015 – Disaster preparedness & Fire safety
10/25/2015 – Disaster medical operations 1 & Disaster medical operations 2
11/1/2015 – Light search and rescue operations & CERT organization
11/7/2015 – Disaster psychology & Terrorism in CERT
The final drill and exercise location and date will be announced during the class.
Participants must attend every module of training as well as participate in the final emergency simulation exercise in order to receive certification as a fully trained CERT Team member.
Upon completion of the training, each participant will be issued a CERT Member Emergency Kit.
On Tuesday, August 4th, 2015, Police Chief Kenneth Ferrante along with the Hoboken Police Department will be hosting Hoboken’s annual National Night Out at Church Square Park from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm. This year’s night will be dedicated in memory of Jayden Thomas O’Connor, grandson of retired PO Thomas O’Connor.
National Night Out is a nationwide event that allows community workers to give back to their community. The goals of National Night Out are to 1) heighten crime and drug awareness; 2) generate support for, and participation in, local anti-crime programs; 3) strengthen neighborhood spirit and police community partnership; 4) send a message to criminals that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.
This year, we would like to see more of the Hoboken community involved in this event. If you are a local business or organization who wishes to participate in the parade, or the festivities, please contact Sergeant Melissa Gigante at 201-420-2100 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to working together with you to make our community safer, stronger and more unified than ever before.
The Hoboken Police Department offers child safety seat inspections and installations during the following days and times:
- Monday and Friday 9 am to 2 pm
- Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 8 am to 3 pm
- Evenings and weekends are by appointment only – please call 201-420-5109
Mayor Dawn Zimmer has appointed Hoboken Fire Department Battalion Chief Anton Peskens as Provisional Fire Chief effective June 19, 2015. He is currently the Hoboken Fire Department’s most senior Battalion Chief, having joined the Fire Department in 1986 and serving as Battalion Chief since 2011. Mayor Zimmer recently interviewed all Battalion Chiefs prior to selecting a Provisional Chief.
“We are fortunate to have great talent and many qualified leaders in our Fire Department,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “I thank Chief Peskens for agreeing to take on this major responsibility for the next several months as we begin the process of identifying a permanent Chief to lead the department in the years ahead.”
A swearing in ceremony will take place on Tuesday, June 23rd at 3:00pm in City Council Chambers. All members of the public are invited to attend.
Hoboken Fire Chief Richard Blohm retired on June 1, 2015. The department has been operating with an officer in charge for several weeks. 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.
All members of the community are invited to a promotion ceremony for the Hoboken Police Department. The ceremony will take place at noon on Monday, June 1, 2015 in the court room of Hoboken City Hall, 94 Washington Street.
Police Lieutenant Daniel LoBue will be promoted to Captain, Police Sergeant Scott Hochstadter will be promoted to Lieutenant, and Police Officer Jason Falco will be promoted to Sergeant. Special recognition will be made to retired Police Officer Damian Uva and Captain James Fitzsimmons.
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.”
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.”
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.
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.