|SURRENDER YOURSELF, SLOB|
We live in times where anyone can create a themed event in a 'host' city with a mouse click.
Themed events don't have to be 'bad;' a social media event can connect strangers of diverse communities with a shared experience. The "do no harm" metric applies. If an event does no harm to taxpayers, residents and police in a host city, then fine.
For example, themed events organized by the New York City-based collective, "Improv Everywhere" are kind to their host cities. On January 10, 2016 they hosted their 15th annual "No Pants Subway Ride" in 60 cities in 25 countries around the world. Tens of thousands of people have participated in their events since 2001, and have inflicted no "harm" to their hosts.
Why do Hoboken's themed mass-events come with arrests, assaults and disorderly conduct requiring a massive police presence?
Because they are about drinking. The goal is intoxication and (for some) getting laid.
Leprecon 2016 brought a new low: 2 Hoboken police officers were assaulted and had to be hospitalized.
Enough is enough.
GA stands with Ken Ferrante in outrage at the profiteering of sponsors and bartenders of citywide alcohol fests; their massive, themed events bring a mini-crimewave that endangers residents and police, tap city services, after which residents get stuck with the bill.
Ferrante said in part:
“I am disturbed by the repeated behavior that is occurring on these types of themed events, and have several measures that I am exploring with my command staff that I feel needs to be taken”, said Hoboken Police Chief Ken Ferrante. Ferrante added “I will not tolerate having any of our officers injured, for the purposes of a few to make a financial profit at the expense of our residents, and for the purposes of promoting deviant behavior attached to various holidays, which results in citizens and officers being hospitalized!”Right on.
Ferrante is limited though in that he can only enforce existing law. It is time for the City Council to step up and help our police help our residents.
GA would like the Council to consider an ordinance making "themed event"sponsors/participating businesses apply for a license for each "themed event", certifying they take responsibility for the BILL for additional police, police overtime and any other city services required for Hoboken to "host" this event.
Put it simply- private entities want a party on public property, then let them PAY the municipality for the services they require.
What has been going on the past couple of years with these themed drunk-fests is an absolute abuse of the public, public property and public services by a few dozen profiteers.
I guarantee the vast majority of Hoboken residents will appreciate the city putting its 'foot' down on the annual piss-fests.
No there is NO INCENTIVE for sponsors to control or limit their events.
If sponsors are forced to PAY the City for the additional services, I guarantee the themed events will be managed and controlled- even limited in scope.
Here is Hoboken Police Chief Ken Ferrante's statement in full:
The 2016 Hoboken Leprecon or Hoboken St. Patrick’s Day Celebration, which is an event sponsored by a private promoter and many local bars, and not the City of Hoboken, resulted in another day of arrests and summonses for disorderly behavior and culminated with two Hoboken Police Officers being injured and hospitalized.
This year, the Hoboken Police Department and outside agencies consisting of the Union City Police Department, North Bergen Police Department, Westfield Police Department, New Jersey Transit Police, Port Authority Police and the Hudson County Rapid Deployment Force responded to 432 calls for service between 8am Saturday and 4am Sunday, 27 less than the 459 responded to over the same time period last year.
There were 54 City Ordinance summonses issued mostly for drinking in public, with some being issued for urinating in public, disorderly house parties, and disorderly conduct. This is down from the 93 issued last year. There were 16 motor vehicle moving violations summonses issued as traffic was not a major problem on the day with many using public transportation.
A total of 35 people were transported to hospitals, down from 39 last year, and like last year, there were no reports of sexual assaults.
Arrest numbers went up from 11 last year to 15 this year. The last arrest occurred today when one, Christopher Smallwood, 24 years old, of Warminister, Pennsylvania, turned himself in to police, and is now being charged with multiple counts of Aggravated Assault. Smallwood was allegedly involved in a fight at McDonald’s at 2:30am. While fleeing the scene of the fight, Sgt. Steve Aguiar and Detective Christine Collins confronted Smallwood on Bloomfield Street. Smallwood proceeded to run over the officers and fight away from the officers to evade apprehension. Smallwood struck the officers with such force that Det. Collins suffered three broken ribs and Sgt. Aguiar received a dislocated shoulder. Smallwood was ultimately able to use his skills as a former college football running back at Delaware Valley, and evaded arrest until he turned himself in shortly before noon today. Aguiar and Collins were both taken to Hoboken University Medical Center and were released earlier today and are both now out of work on injured status.
“I am disturbed by the repeated behavior that is occurring on these types of themed events, and have several measures that I am exploring with my command staff that I feel needs to be taken”, said Hoboken Police Chief Ken Ferrante. Ferrante added “I will not tolerate having any of our officers injured, for the purposes of a few to make a financial profit at the expense of our residents, and for the purposes of promoting deviant behavior attached to various holidays, which results in citizens and officers being hospitalized!”
Ferrante added, “I am proud of the efforts put forth by our officers who did everything possible to keep this city as safe as possible throughout the day and night, and thank all of the assisting agencies who helped us put 200 officers on the streets.”
GA thinks Hoboken can set an example for other similarly-sized municipalities on how to manage these privately-organized events which strain our services,cost taxpayers and include a mini-crime wave. Before someone gets hurt, again.
Well, to end on a humorous note, this was an "Improv Everywhere" prank that took place in Central Park on June 6, 2015.