Hoboken Police Chief Ken Ferrante retires after nearly 30 years on the job

It was a bittersweet day in Hoboken as the city’s police chief retired after nearly three decades on the job.

News 12 Staff

Jun 30, 2021, 10:56 PM

Updated 1,021 days ago


It was a bittersweet day in Hoboken as the city’s police chief retired after nearly three decades on the job.
Chief Ken Ferrante tells News 12 New Jersey that he is feeling excited for his retirement and that it was time to hand over the reins to the next generation.
Ferrante was just 19 years old when he interviewed to be a Hoboken police officer.
“After a few questions, I was asked, ‘What’s your goal if you were to become a police officer?’ I said, ‘To become chief someday,’” Ferrante recalls.
This was nearly 30 years ago.
“I know I can say the effort was unmatched. That I can put on the table,” he says.
After 28 years of serving his hometown – the last seven as chief – Ferrante had his last day. A walkout ceremony was held in front of Police Headquarters on Hudson Street. The son of a Hoboken police officer, Ferrante’s parents sat proudly in the front row.
Ferrante admits that there has been little time for him to reflect on his own retirement, but early on in his tenure as chief, change came quickly.
“First five years as chief we did so much change here to bring this into being a professional law enforcement-first agency,” he says.
Ferrante is credited for modernizing the department with a focus on community policing and increasing training. Hoboken saw a decrease in crime stats under his tenure.
He also became known for his social media presence, with followers statewide anticipating his live tweets of major events and his regular sports references.
Big challenges as chief included Hoboken’s major flooding events and the deadly New Jersey Transit train crash in 2016.
But Ferrante says that the job has taken a toll recently.
“The last two years felt like fighting from the ropes,” he says.
There was policing through the COVID-19 pandemic, then the murder of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement which brought the state’s largest protest to Hoboken.
Ferrante’s reaction to the conviction of Derek Chauvin for the murder of Floyd garnered national attention.
“What Derek Chauvin did to destroy police-community relations in this country is unforgivable,” Ferrante says.
He says that he has done all that he can for his community in the top spot and leaves his rank-and-file with a reminder of how he says he signs ever email over the years.
“’I employ all of you to stay safe, be alert and watch out for one another,’” Ferrante says.
Ferrante will swear in his replacement on Thursday and then take some much-needed time off. He says that he is not done with Hoboken or the law enforcement community.

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