Over the last few weeks, we have received several inquiries from residents who have expressed concern because candidates for the “WIN” political ticket have told them that crime in Weehawken is out of control and the police department “covers up” the true crime statistics. A recent letter by “WIN’s” campaign manager confirms that “WIN” candidates have badmouthed our police department. To abuse the police department is the most despicable, desperate act by political candidates in recent memory. To degrade the members of the Weehawken Police Department, whose actions during the last ten years have resulted in the largest crime reduction in Weehawken history, is reprehensible.
Every day the men and women of the Weehawken Police Department put on their uniforms and put their lives on the line for the residents of our great community. The crime statistics for Weehawken are a public record, maintained by the NJ State Police, and published every year statewide. If any “WIN” candidate had any question on Weehawken crime statistics or the operation of the Weehawken Police Department, all they had to do is contact the leadership of the police department. To date, none of the “WIN” candidates running for office have done that. We have not even seen them at Township Council meetings when they could publicly ask about our crime rate. They could also contact the State Police if they wanted Weehawken’s crime statistics. Maybe they think the NJ State Police are part of the “cover-up” too?
But since they apparently have raised false concerns about crime in Weehawken, we are happy and proud to inform them that our Police Department has achieved the following crime reductions during the last ten (10) years:
Overall crime – down 51 percent
Violent crime – down 56 percent
Auto theft – down 56 percent
Burglary – down 60 percent
Larceny – down 45 percent
Crime reduction of this magnitude does not happen by accident. It takes the cooperation of three (3) important components to achieve this. First and foremost, the dedicated and professional effort of the men and women of the Weehawken Police Department who both on duty and off duty are making sure that you, your property, and our community is safe as possible. Secondly, the support of elected officials to provide the necessary funding to support an effective police force. The fact is Mayor Richard F. Turner and the Township Council have provided for one of the greatest expansion of police personnel in the last ten (10) years. Our police staffing is at the highest level since 1960. With sufficient manpower, we have been able to decrease crime to 1970’s level, and provide dedicated officers to traffic control during rush hour to keep Weehawken residents moving. The third and certainly equally important is the support of the majority of Weehawken’s 13,000 residents who serve as our community watchdogs and report suspicious activity, or people. Those actions have resulted in almost one hundred arrests over the last ten (10) years and have prevented hundreds of crimes from taking place.
In the future, we hope the “WIN” candidates will stop the lies about our police department’s crime reduction efforts, and join with the rest of the Weehawken community in supporting their police officers.
Jeff Welz, Director, Public Safety
Deputy Chief Robert Del Priore, Chief of Operations
Robert E. Zucconi, Deputy Director, Public Safety