Friday, January 29, 2016

Joint Statement from Mayor Zimmer and Chief Ferrante on Waterfront tragedy

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Friday January 29, 2016

City of Hoboken

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Community: Joint Statement from Mayor Zimmer and Chief Ferrante

Dear Horsey & MSV readers,

Our deepest sympathies are with the Genovese family as they mourn the loss of their loved one, Matthew, a young Hoboken resident at the prime of his life. The Hoboken Police Department did everything possible to locate Matthew when he was reported missing by his family.

This unfortunate loss of life on our waterfront has raised concerns within the community and we write to clarify a few important issues.

First, while this particular case remains under investigation, it is important to understand that in this case and in all past cases of entry into the Hudson River from Hoboken over the years, there have been no indications of foul play in any instance. Every case has been determined to be accidental or voluntary entries into the river. In the several unfortunate situations where death arose from the incident, the State Medical Examiner’s Office has determined all of those to be death by accidental drowning and in some cases drowning aided by intoxication. The State Medical Examiner’s Office makes the final determination on all deaths. In the case of Matthew Genovese, the Medical Examiner’s case is still under investigation until toxicology reports come back, which can take several months.

It is also important for the public to understand that the security cameras, which were operational when Matthew went missing, are intended to help the Police investigate what has occurred after the fact. While the cameras can help with an investigation, the cameras unfortunately cannot save lives. The City is conducting a review of the camera system to determine where additional cameras might be appropriate and helpful for future investigations.

Under Chief Ferrante's leadership, a new Waterfront and Parks Unit was established last year which operates 24/7 along our 1.3 mile waterfront and 20 parks to ensure that our waterfront is as safe as possible.