City sends largest class to police academy in three decades

Mayor Steven M. Fulop and public safety officials said last week that the largest police recruit class in more than thirty years entered the police academy in December as the Fulop Administration continues to expand public safety citywide. The administration has now surpassed its original goal of growing the Jersey City Police Department to 950 officers. With this latest class of 76 recruits, the department will reach a total of more than 960 officers citywide.
“We inherited a police department that was at a historical low in officers, and from day one set out to expand the force,” said Mayor Fulop. “With the addition of this newest recruit class, we have now hired more than 400 officers, exceeding our goal to grow and diversify the police department and enhance public safety throughout Jersey City.
“We’ve not only worked to increase the number of officers citywide, but we’ve also focused on diversifying the department to reflect Jersey City, the most diverse city in the country,” Mayor Fulop added. “These 76 recruits are reflective of that, with minorities making up nearly three-quarters of the new class. While we know there’s more work to be done, we’re proud of how far we’ve come as Jersey City continues to serve as a model for police recruitment and diversity.”
The Fulop Administration set out to expand the Police Department from 769 officers in 2013 when Fulop took office.

Jersey City hires lawyers to fight proposed Liberty State Park marina

Living up to his promise to use every resource to oppose state plans for a new marina in the south part of Liberty State Park, Mayor Steven M. Fulop announced on Dec. 13 that the administration will enter into an agreement with the law firm of Riker Danzig, Scherer, Hyland, & Perretti to provide legal services in connection with protecting Liberty State Park against the development of a new marina. The proposed lease agreement between marina operators Suntex Marinas and the NJ Department of Environmental Protection is for 45-acres of land on the southern end of the public park, including a mile stretch of waterfront which will be transformed from quiet open space to a parking lot for 300 boats.
“Once again, the Christie Administration has proven their utter disregard for the importance of public parks in New Jersey,” said Mayor Fulop. “This development is one that would drastically change the landscape of one of the state’s best public parks, and to add insult to injury has progressed up until this point behind closed doors. This lack of integrity has become business as usual, and this time, one of our best public assets will suffer unless we as a city fight back.”
The New Jersey-based firm has been hired to pursue legal options against the proposed marina, citing a misalignment between the proposed use and the original purpose of the public park as well as safety concerns for residents and local wildlife alike.
“We are immensely grateful to Mayor Fulop for delivering the legal resources necessary to protect the south side of Liberty State Park for the public to continue to picnic, fish, walk, and enjoy unblemished views of the New York Harbor freely,” said Greg Remaud, deputy director of the NY/NJ Baykeeper.
The recently-released lease agreement details a development that has led residents and officials to voice strong opposition. On Dec. 2, Mayor Fulop joined the Friends of Liberty State Park to rally against the proposal.
“The Friends of Liberty State Park and all supporters of the park as a local, state, and national treasure with open space and priceless open vistas, are very grateful to the Fulop Administration for his determination and dedication in stopping this destructive marina plan from going forward,” said Sam Pesin, president of the Friends of Liberty State Park and vocal advocate of preserving the park.

Gabert to retire from HCCC next summer

Hudson County Community College Board of Trustees Chair William J. Netchert disclosed today that the college’s longtime president, Glen Gabert, told him and the board of his intention to retire at the end of June 2018.
The Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) has been retained to perform a national search for the new president beginning in January 2018.
“We know it will be very difficult to replace Glen Gabert,” Netchert said. “I have had the honor of working in partnership with Glen Gabert for 14 years. He transformed what was a deeply distressed college into an institution of first choice for the people of Hudson County. We are looking for an individual who will help move us forward in continuing to grow the college and build upon the excellent framework that has been established.”
Dr. Gabert marked his 25th anniversary as president of the college in September, making him the longest-serving president in the school’s history, and the longest serving current community college president in New Jersey.

County to establish stigma free zone to combat veterans’ suicides

At its Dec. 7 meeting the Board of Freeholders designated Hudson County as a Stigma Free Zone to combat veteran suicide.
The Department of Veterans Affairs reports that an average of 20 veterans die by suicide each day. The department says it is committed to providing timely access to high quality, recovery-oriented mental health care that anticipates and responds to veteran’s needs, such as treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, substance use disorders, depression and suicidal ideation. Mental health disorders, including major depression and other mood disorders, have been associated with increased risk for suicide.
The VA says it is committed to identifying and reaching all veterans who may be at risk for suicide and recognizes that eliminating the burden of suicide among veterans will require participation from a broad group of federal and local government and community partners.
The VA says it has developed innovative strategies to find and help veterans at risk for suicide through community based collaborations and expanded supportive services.
Catholic Charities Services is spearheading the effort in New Jersey to form community based collaborations and wishes to partner with Hudson County to create an initiative that aims to create cultures of caring wherein individuals who live with mental illness or substance use disorders feel supported in seeking treatment rather than suffering in silence (the “Stigma Free Initiative”).
The mission of Stigma Free Initiative is aligned with the VA’s goal of connecting veterans to essential mental health treatment to reduce the risk of suicide and increase quality of life.
The county’s Department of Health and Human services will pursue a Stigma Free Initiative and will raise awareness of resources available to veterans through the VA and beyond in an effort to reduce the risk of suicide and enhance the quality of life of the individuals who served our country.

PSE&G to inspect gas meters in Hudson County

Public Service Electric & Gas Company (PSE&G) will be inspecting natural gas meters in Hoboken, Weehawken and West New York to ensure the continued safety and reliability of gas services.
“Customer safety is our number one priority,” said Joe Forline, vice president of gas operations for PSE&G. “It’s important for us to conduct safety inspections like these so that we can check for surface corrosion, leaks and other conditions that might require attention or repair.”
If a customer’s meter is inside, someone over the age of 18 will need to give our technicians access to the meter for a visual inspection. Meters that are located outside will also be inspected. Although technicians will be on your property, customers do not need to be home for outside meter inspections.
Important information about the inspection process:
• The inspection is free and will take about 10 minutes.
• Customers do not need to make an appointment at this time.
• Unless a meter requires immediate repair, there will be no interruption to service.
• Service will not be turned off during this inspection due to billing status.
PSE&G reminds customers to always ask for identification when a utility worker comes to the door. Employees carry a PSE&G photo identification badge, wear PSE&G logo apparel and drive PSE&G cars or trucks. If a customer is concerned in any way, they should call PSE&G’s customer service line at 800-436-PSEG (7734) to verify the identity of an employee.

Hoboken Menorah lighting at City Hall is Dec. 17

Join the community and elected officials for a public display of unity as they light the grand Menorah at Hoboken City Hall this Sunday, Dec. 17 at 5 pm. Hot latkes, donuts, chocolate gelt, and Menorah kits will be distributed.
This event is open and free to everyone.
Prior to the lighting, at 4 p.m. there will be a children’s program inside City Hall. Ventriloquist, pizza, raffle, crafts. Tickets are $10 per child in advance; $15 at door.
For more info. about this program or future events, please visit or call (201) 386-5222.