Technical Difficulties Plagued Hoboken Police Department During Sandy

Three days before the storm, the police department's phone system failed.

The Hoboken Police Department suffered loss and technical difficulties during superstorm Sandy, losing multiple vehicles and electricity while answering more than 1,600 calls for service.

On Tuesday night, Police Chief Anthony Falco summarized how the storm had impacted the police department.

About three days before the storm showed up in Hoboken, on Thursday night, the city's 22-year-old phone system failed, leaving only one working phone line in police headquarters.

"That presented a challenge from the beginning of the storm," said the city's deputy business administrator Stephen Marks, "to the end of the storm."

"It’s been a technological challenge for the police department," Marks added. A new phone system was scheduled to be installed at the police department on Wednesday, Marks said. 

At another point during the storm, the department's repeaters went out, Chief Anthony Falco said, making it impossible to dispatch any of the vehicles.

Power went out at Hoboken's police headquarters. Most of the police officers, all of whom were on call for the duration of the storm, were basically living there.

"Most of them chose to stay there," Falco said. "We sustained ourselves."

At the police desk, officers weren't able to record the calls into the computer, because power went out. The Police Department responded to 1,645 calls between Oct. 29 and Nov. 6. All the calls were logged, "the old fashioned way," Falco said — by long hand.

Damage was also done to part of the police department's fleet. Eleven vehicles were lost due to damage, Falco said. Four motorcycles — one of which was brand new — were lost as well.

"In my 63 years," Falco said, "I have never seen such devastation in Hoboken."

ribustelli November 14, 2012 at 04:01 PM
Now maybe the mayor will spend real money on the police department. Every department should have a backup failure contingency plan.
FAP November 14, 2012 at 04:24 PM
There was an effort by the Mayor and Council Reform Majority to spend money on police headquarters but the council minority voted down the bond, which takes 6 votes to pass, that would have paid for the planned improvements.
green November 14, 2012 at 04:42 PM
And if you call 911 they yell at you to call the Hoboken Police Department, instead.
ThisMeansWar November 14, 2012 at 04:42 PM
Now maybe citizens will begin to see the Council of No for what they are. http://www.nj.com/hobokennow/index.ssf/2011/10/bond_for_police_station_improv.html Sound familiar?
Hobbs November 14, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Another example of decades of neglect by prior Administrations that needs to be addressed.
Mr.budget November 18, 2012 at 12:18 AM
Most decuded to stay at Police HQ ?? More like forced and had no choice in the matter
sarvsammat November 30, 2012 at 06:05 AM
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