HOBOKEN, NJ - After weeks of pointed online discussions, Police Chief Kenneth Ferrante saw his three-year contract unanimously approved by the Hoboken City Council Wednesday. Having served as top cop in the Mile Square City since 2014, Ferrante currently earns $201,075 annually—less than a number of other Hudson County Police Chiefs. Under the new contract, he will receive a $5,000 raise next year and eventually bring home a salary of $211,000.
"I’m thrilled that Hoboken will now have Chief Ferrante at the helm of the Hoboken Police Department for a full three years thanks to the newly adopted contract," said Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla. "Under his leadership, the police department has taken major steps forward to keep Hoboken safe and increase the quality of life for all of our residents, and I have no doubt this progress will continue in the years to come. I thank the Council for the unanimous support for Chief Ferrante and the Hoboken Police Department."
The unanimous support comes following scrutiny of the contract by members of the council, citing the omnipresent budgetary issues. Following the July 8 meeting, Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher, took to social media to say, “I won’t speak specif[ically] for my colleagues, but broadly we felt it was bad timing—the day budget was introduced during the biggest fiscal crisis for Hoboken since the state monitor, voting on a contract when all our public employees have been out of contract for multiple y[ea]rs and amidst a highly political environment that is questioning funding of the nation’s police department.”
While Fisher maintained that Ferrante is one of the best assets for Hoboken,” she recommended a term of two years, “because the next mayor—whether current or new—should get to have the opportunity to bring to the discussions with our police chief what his/her priorities are & what he/she believes are the concerns of Hoboken citizens.”
Her comments sparked a social media slugfest between the City's political factions.
According to Hoboken City Spokesman Vijay Chaudhuri, "Mayor Bhalla believes this inappropriately politicizes the position of Police Chief, which should have no connection to elections or politics.” He adds, “Instead, Mayor Bhalla believes the Chief’s record on behalf of the department should speak for itself, and is hopeful that the Council will unanimously approve the full three-year contract as originally proposed.”
The day before the Council decision, Fisher stated via Twitter, "This has been blown out of proportion so much that I am willing to acquiesce. None on the council wanted our Chief to leave notwithstanding the messaging from City Hall to the contrary."
Under Ferrante’s supervision, Hoboken has seen a reduction in crime across the board, implementation of “use of force” policies, creation of a waterfront and parks unit to better patrol and keep public spaces safe during all hours. He has also moved the Department forward on Vision Zero efforts, COVID response, OEM streamlining, modernization of the investigations bureau—while bringing a demonstrated work ethic and transparency to the position.
With the dust hopefully settling on the contract issue, Chief Ferrante tells TAPinto Hoboken, ""I thank the Mayor, the City Council and City Administration for finally coming together to get this completed. I look forward to continuing my 24/7 dedication to serving our City's residents and businesses, as well as serving the men and women of the Hoboken Police Department who have done tremendous work during a very difficult period in our history. I also appreciate my family and friends and everyone from the public who showed their support for me. I am only looking ahead to tomorrow's challenges that we face."
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