ONCE AGAIN HUDSON POLICE CHIEF L. Edward Moore stood before a group of citizens and asked for patience as police continue their investigation into seven shootings in the city over the past four months, including one where a man was killed in August. Moore’s appeal came at a monthly meeting of the Police Committee of the Hudson Common Council on Monday. And once again Moore said the investigation is being stymied by a lack of police manpower and an unwillingness of residents to cooperate with police, blaming a culture that views such cooperation as “snitching.”
REGARDING POLICE MANPOWER, Hudson City Hall needs to take action to give the police department the resources it needs to keep the citizens of Hudson safe and crime off the street. (We can only hope that the next administration will make this issue its number-one priority – there’s no sense doing any more economic development work in a city plagued by crime and violence — and one can only hope it won’t be too late). If police union restrictions are part of the problem, then it’s time to renegotiate the police union contract and/or to declare a state of emergency (or ask the state to intervene) allowing for more personnel on the job at one time. We can’t fiddle around while Hudson burns its hard-fought-for, newly restored reputation.
AS FOR THE DEPARTMENT’S INABILITY to make arrests, this is perhaps more troubling. Clearly the difficulties the department faces are not unique to Hudson. Clearly other municipalities have figured out ways to deal with or overcome this problem. It’s time to reach out for aid beyond the city and the county and to bring in support from those who have figured out ways to overcome the unwillingness of witnesses to “snitch,” or to use other means to build a case against offenders, especially given that the department knows exactly who the offenders are in these cases. This is especially urgent at time when people walking streets in broad daylight are becoming victims of random violence.
HUDSON HAS COME SUCH A LONG WAY in overcoming its reputation as a place to speed through quickly with locked doors and heads down. If once again the city is deemed to be unsafe, then all the efforts that have been made over the past 20-30 years to renew the city are in danger of collapsing. The residents of Hudson, and the dozens of businesses that have invested millions in the town, deserve better – they deserve answers from city leadership regarding what is being done to insure that the current crime wave is ended and that people can once again walk the streets of Hudson safely and without fear of becoming victims to crime, because of a lack of resources or a systemic inability to stem such crime and violence.