Dear Editor:

As a resident of this fine and "up and coming city", there are certain things that I like to feel comfort in as a single young woman trying to work 2 jobs in this time of tragedy and economic downturn. One of them, is that I would like to feel comfortable and confident to walk through the Church Square Park (as I do every day with my dog to go to the dog park), and know that I will feel safety, and comfort doing so with or without my Labrador Retriever. However last Thursday night had proven to me that perhaps I am naïve as I walked home from work at midnight with friends and was gawked at by a group of 6 teenagers illegally drinking underage with open bottles of Heineken. One would think that this is something to be expected in a city…and, after all kids will be kids…right? Well as a woman walking home every night, it seems wrong when one "kid" proceeds to scream and throw a beer bottle at me and my friends. It’s beyond wrong when I walked by and all I could feel was glass shattering up my legs and all I could think was "Thank God he aimed low".

We called the cops, and they were fast on the scene, the kids ran, and all I got the next morning was a receptionist at the Police Dept. telling me to call the next day to follow up with the Chief of Police or the Mayor. Well my dog plays with the Mayor’s dog so should I imagine that I have a better chance of getting to talk to the dog or his dogwalker than I do the Mayor???

Every night I work late. Every night I work late. Every night I walk through the same park and see the same thing. I see teenagers no more than 15 years of age with a foul vocabulary and a lurid tone in their voice. I see underage drinking. I see young teenaged boys screaming and cursing at their young girlfriends who, sadly, proceed to take their abuse…..and I just keep walking. Strangely, the one thing that I never see…(with exception of Halloween night)…is a uniformed police officer ROUTINELY walking on FOOT patrolling the park.

I work in New York City. I was there September 11th, and I still hold NYC as being one of the safest cities in this country. The reason for this is that the city’s finest are on horseback, bicycle, and cruising through the streets to ensure our feeling of comfort. It’s a safe place when on each corner you turn, you’re within eye’s view from a man in uniform. Don’t get me wrong. I have only the highest respect for the police officers in this Hoboken. I truly feel that they are responsive and respectful of us as citizens of Hoboken. They treated the WTC tragedy as all police officers have in the Metro New York area, with nothing but pure heroism and fearlessness toward their cause and the American people. However, life goes on, and we are all a community feeling a bit sensitive about our safety in this world. As a result, there are certain patterns of behavior that I have witnessed in Hoboken that could be prevented and deterred by simple police presence.

Washington Street on the weekends certainly holds its own presence of Police Force officers. However, I agree with the one resident who pointed out 2 weeks ago in their editorial, "perhaps the town should consider putting more cops on all streets (not just Washington) from 2a.m. to 5 a.m. when these ghouls are making their way back to somebody’s apartment. And to all you twenty-something idiots that have no respect for your fellow residents, shame on you!" However, I say..it’s NOT just the ‘twenty-something idiots’ causing the problem. They can be harmless, elder, adolescent, drunk, or sober, but regardless…they are a threat to our sense of safety. Unfortunately, the most disconcerting thing for me as a woman in Hoboken is that these young men are most likely to grow to become rapists and domestic abusers if they are not deterred and taught at an early age of the consequence of their actions. It’s unfortunate that their parents are allowing them out at such hours. It’s unfortunate that they have gone through whatever it is that they have gone through in their life to put them in a Hoboken park, drinking Heineken at 15 years of age and feeling the urge towards acts of violence. HOWEVER, what is more important is that in a city where we pride ourselves on how far we have come, and hope to get our money’s worth given the cost of taxes, rent, parking, and normal cost of living, we still lack the physical "police presence" in certain areas to make us feel safe and deter the potential acts of violence towards our residents who so clearly deserve the peace of mind.

Name Withheld


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