The Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office has launched a “Safe Place” program to increase awareness of hate and bias crimes by giving victims secure locations to wait for police.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“The Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office is proud to facilitate the Safe Place initiative and serve as a bridge that connects law enforcement to their communities in a joint effort to address hate and bias crimes,” Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez said in a statement.
“Hudson County is often celebrated for its diversity and it is my hope this program will continue to define our community as a safe place for everyone, regardless of religion, race, or background.”
Safe Place, a national law enforcement-led initiative, was developed by the Seattle Police Department in 2015 to provide resources and assistance to victims of hate and bias crimes.
Through the program, businesses, social organizations, and schools will receive a decal to place in the front window or common space of their building.
Individuals who see the Safe Place logo will know that location will provide a safe place for someone to call 911 if they feel unsafe or are the victim of a crime.
The program is free to participate in and only has two requirements: individuals must call 911 immediately if a victim of any crime enters the premises and allow the victim to remain at the establishment until police arrive.
Safe Place is for all hate crimes, including race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, mental, physical, or sensory disabilities, homelessness, marital status, political ideology, age, or parental status.
With the support of the Hoboken Police Department, the Hudson County Safe Place program officially launched on Monday, June 5, 2023, at three local businesses:
• The Hive, a coffee and lifestyle shop located at 1000 Park Ave.
• Uncle Milton Cafe, an LGBTQ+ owned cafe located at 1119 Jefferson St.
• Bean Vault Coffee, a law enforcement owned coffee shop located at 1 Newark St.
“The Hoboken Police Department does not tolerate any type of bias or hate crime in our diverse and accepting City,” added Hoboken Police Chief Steven Aguiar.
“We are honored to be supporting the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office in this nationwide effort to even better protect all residents and visitors. We encourage all of our businesses and organizations to consider participating in this voluntary program, which will help us continue to provide a safe and welcoming environment, for all.”
Hudson County businesses or organizations interested in participating are encouraged to signup online by clicking here.
Once the form is complete, Community Outreach Coordinator D’Liz Polanco, who serves as the Hudson County Safe Place Administrator, will be in contact to provide you with a Safe Place window sticker and welcome packet.