Hoboken policing policy survey asks residents if they would support a review board

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The Hoboken Policing Policy Task Force has put out a survey that asks residents if they would support a “Public Safety Review Board,” also known as a Civilian Complaint Review Board, to provide oversight for their department.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“Do you think it would be a good idea for the City of Hoboken to institute a Public Safety Review Board to provide oversight of the hiring, policies of and complaints against the Hoboken Police Department?,” says one of eight questions in the survey, which was released on Thursday.

In June, Mayor Ravi Bhalla announced the formation of the 11-member task force, with their primary function to review the Hoboken Police Department’s use-of-force policies.

They have been relatively quiet since then, that is until this survey was released to the public.

The questionnaire asks about mostly demographic information, with an open ended one at the bottom to provide additional comments or feedback, making the review board component the only one about public safety policy.

During the Black Lives Matter movement, which included a large-scale rally in Hoboken, in wake of George Floyd’s killing in May, Mile Square City officials have repeatedly praised their police, pointing out that there has not been one excessive force complaint filed during Police Chief Kenneth Ferrante’s tenure.

In neighboring Jersey City, officials have been discussing implementing a CCRB for at least weeks, in some cases years, drawing far more attention once a state Supreme Court ruling limited the abilities of Newark’s CCRB.

As a result, state legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Angela McKnight (D-31) must be enacted before any municipal CCRB in New Jersey could components such as subpoena power and budget protections.

Both Ward A Councilwoman Denise Ridley and Ward E Councilman James Solomon have proposed their own concepts on how a Jersey City CCRB should operate, but they opted not to introduce either one this past Wednesday in order to try and reach common ground.

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