Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla is joining mayors nationwide that have signed former President Barack Obama’s pledge to address the local police department’s use of force policies.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“Today, in consultation with Police Chief Ken Ferrante, I answered President Obama’s call for Mayors to sign a pledge to review their city’s use of force policies in partnership with their local community,” Bhalla said in a statement.
The pledge, which has also been signed by Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, calls on cities to review their use of force policies, report its findings publicly, and seek community feedback within 90 days of signing.
“Chief Ferrante and I fully intend on complying because we both understand, as President Obama pointed out, that official policy which actively encourages de-escalation has been found to lead to less death, keeping both our police and our community safer.”
Throughout the week, both Ferrante and Bhalla have pointed out that there have been no civil complaints filed against the Hoboken Police Department for excessive force or racial bias incidents in about six years.
On Twitter, Ferrante addressed the “#8cantwait” movement, a Campaign Zero effort, on Wednesday, indicating that HPD was already using seven of the eight recommended policies – which are said to decrease police violence by 72 percent.
“We already have 7 of 8 in place, have the most certified Crisis Intervention Officers in Hudson County and in the past 30 years, had one officer get shot and Hoboken PD has not shot anyone. Facts!,” the chief tweeted.
Also on Wednesday, Ferrante denounced the four officers charged in George Floyd’s murder, indicated that the tactics used in that fatal May 25th incident would not be tolerated in Hoboken.
A city spokesman did not immediately return an email seeking comment, while Ferrante said he would address all eight policies in detail following today’s rally.
The group “Allies 4 Justice” has organized a George Floyd protest set to begin at the Maxwell Place Park at 1 p.m. and end at Pier A Park.
The rally is expected to go until roughly 4 p.m., according to event organizers.