On Monday, Mayor Ravi Bhalla sent a letter to the council members: "It is my hope that the chief’s full three-year contract extension will be unanimously approved by the council after considering the chief’s record and qualifications," he wrote.
Through his six years as Police Chief, Chief Ferrante has distinguished himself as, in my opinion, one of, if not the best chiefs in the entire tri-state area. He has been our crucial partner in keeping our city safe, and even more so now during the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, during which he had been on duty for 92/95 days (without overtime, for which he is ineligible for). His record since he became Chief in 2014 speaks for itself:
During his six years, Hoboken has seen a reduction in almost all major crime categories. From 2018 to 2019, violent crime dropped by 34 percent, and non-violent crime by 22 percent, with robberies, rapes, and larceny all reduced by at least 20 percent, and no homicides
This year, Chief Ferrante and the Hoboken Police Department met all eight “use of force” policies established by “8 can’t wait” and has not had a single civil suit or criminal complaint against any of officers for excessive force for the past six years
Directed the creation of a waterfront and parks unit upon becoming Chief, to better patrol and keep public spaces safe during all hours of the day
Partnered with my administration and the City Council on our Vision Zero efforts, increasing traffic detail and enforcement of traffic violations pertaining to pedestrian safety
Modernized and invested in the investigations bureau, with the most notable example of the extensive efforts from detectives that resulted in the apprehension of the hit and run driver that struck and killed Zachary Simmons
Demonstrated a work ethic that is second to none, serving on call virtually 24/7 and responding to almost all inquiries and questions from members of the public, the press, and elected officials
Most recently adjusted patrols to successfully address the excessive fireworks with an arrest and several summonses
Has been our trusted partner throughout the entire COVID-19 pandemic, taking early precautions to keep officers safe from the virus and managing to maintain full staffing levels at all times
Vastly increased transparency for the department on social media, posting detailed explanations and recent updates on major issues pertaining to public safety
Professionalized the Office of Emergency Management as it’s coordinator prior to Chief, using the experience to actively respond on scene to many emergencies and interact with all law enforcement agencies
Quite simply, given this record, it would be a major blow to the City should his contract not be renewed, which would force him to decide whether to continue in his position without the security of a contract, or retire with a full pension, as is a very realistic option available to him.
Despite having the ability to comfortably retire, he wishes to remain in his position because of his passion for his profession and love for the city in which he was born and raised. With this contract, Chief Ferrante would also continue to be paid less than six other Hudson County police chiefs.
Bhalla said he objected to a proposal by Councilmember Tiffanie Fisher to cut the proposed contract from three to two years. This would mean whoever is elected mayor in 2021 could work on a new contract or other changes.
Fisher had said the suggested renegotiations were an attempt to save money during a time when the council is hashing out the city budget, and to put decisions in the hands of whoever is elected mayor next.
One commenter said that airing the matter on social media "is really childish, super political and only makes things worse."
As the discussions continued, Ferrante defended and detailed his record on Tuesday.
As the Twitter dustup continued into Tuesday night and got more heated, Fisher said she'd vote yes on either the two or three-year contract.
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