HOBOKEN -- The Zimmer administration’s police layoff plan will continue, even after two large demonstrations by the Hoboken Police Benevolent Association at city council meetings. Approximately 250-300 protestors returned to the Sept. 15 meeting, wearing yellow shirts which read “Stop the Zimmer Police Layoffs!”
Mayor Dawn Zimmer said in an interview with ABC-7 TV News that she will not compromise public safety with the plan, and will make sure, through redeployment, that there will be more cops on the street.
Councilwoman Beth Mason amended her original resolution which tried to direct the administration to stop the layoffs and introduced a resolution which would “recommend” that the Zimmer administration stop the police layoffs. The Zimmer administration has said that a resolution cannot be passed which would “direct” the administration because the council does not have the legal power to do so. The resolution was tabled at the Sept. 1 meeting, and then was voted down 5-4 on Sept. 15.
Council members Beth Mason, Michael Russo, Nino Giacchi and Theresa Castellano voted against the layoff plan, while David Mello, Michael Lenz, Carol Marsh, Ravinder Bhalla, and Peter Cunningham voted in favor of the mayor’s plan.
With an ABC News helicopter flying overhead, supporters of the PBA marched through the streets of Hoboken beginning at approximately 5 p.m. on Wednesday.
“There is no need to lay off a single city worker, police officer, street sweeper, or anyone else,” said Hoboken PBA President Vince Lombardi.
One resident, Terrence Lapotosky, spoke through a megaphone outside of city hall, and stated that he has no political affiliations.
“I don’t need rental cars on my street,” Lapotosky said. “I need cops on my street. Taking cops off the street will only make people less safe.”
The layoff plan is expected to take effect on Sept. 24.