Reader exchange on Hoboken Police Department layoffs

This last week brought Hoboken Police Department’s announced layoffs to the fore.  One commenter, Frank posted some questions and concerns and MSV is highlighting it in a post as the issue merits evaluation and discussion.


Mr. SmartyJones 

As for the audit, can you explain to me the breakdown Mr. Maplewood Chief recommended?  First, the current ratio is 3.3 to 1 which is the recommended ratio, the auditer recommended the same number of supervisor reduction they are currently implementing and also a reduction of patrol officers to 60-70 reducing the ratio to 2.1 to 1, how can that be good? It doesn’t make any sense. That goes against every Law Enforcement Management book ever written, he should know that as a former Chief of Police. 

He also recommends no Public Safety Director is needed but yet not one person, meaning the Mayor, Mr. Liston or the Council have made any mention of Mr. Alicea losing his position, Why? I, along with many have my opinion on that.

Can retirements save jobs, possibly, but where is the GUARANTEE the city will not continue to implement their plan even with retirements? They seem to have ignored everything from the rebuttal, to the 17 points to everything else. 

Do me a favor Mr. SmartyJones and put aside the fact who paid for what audit or rebuttal or whatever and look at them for what they are. You can’t see the obvious mistakes which were pointed out in the rebuttal compared to the auditers report? 
They are taking this audit as if it were the bible and it was the most sacred thing ever written. The rebuttal brought out plenty of valid points and mistakes they auditer made but who knows if they even opened the book to read it. 
An unbiased honest response would be appreciated and not a defensive Zimmer can do no wrong response.
Not sure why you request a “breakdown” the author recommended in the State report.  I’m aware of the written recommendation released previous to the State audit by Chief Falco who stated 28 additional officers would correct both “understaffing” in the department and it being “top heavy.”  MSV had posted that comprehensive report last winter but concerns on Homeland Security prompted it being removed. 
From strictly a civilian perspective the focus on one low paid Public Safety Director position considering all that is at stake is counterproductive.  It has the smell of a personal vendetta against the occupant.  That doesn’t serve the police department’s membership well as they are focused on livelihoods right now.  
At the mayor’s City Hall press conference, MSV did get in a late question asking about jobs being saved with retirements and asked if such could be useful.  That last bit didn’t get posted on our unedited video clip.  It came at the end and youtube has a ten minute limit on videos.  For the record, Mayor Zimmer described the early retirement idea as a “sore point” Hoboken having just paid out more than $4 million due to the error in that process under the Roberts Administration earlier this year.  However, that hardly closes the door to the idea.
It would be beneficial to see the Hoboken Police Department not loose so much of its youthful vitality.  In order to do so, efforts should be made between the police union’s representatives and the office of the Business Administrator to expedite this possibility exploring those senior officers who may submit retirement papers.  They should be encouraged to do so and not rule out the possibility by asking for a guarantee up front.  
Did see commenter FAP’s response earlier and have to say some of what he writes resonates.  The 17 point statement union response was posted last week without editorial comment but it read somewhat disjointed and lacking in the focus it should have been written: to persuade.  It comes across as lobbing a kitchen sink or more to list grievances and complaints.  
Familiar with the police audit and most of the other documentation but not the complete police union report in total.  As civilians most of us are not able to fairly conclude on the management theories advanced. 

The current national and state economic health, nor its immediate future appears especially promising and that means Hoboken can expect a rugged environment as well.  Seeing anyone lose their jobs is a unnfortunate reality of our times.  

Let’s find some ground to save as many jobs of our young police officers as possible.  

Leave a Reply