Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla today announced former Hoboken Police Chief and lifelong resident Ken Ferrante will head the City of Hoboken's Public Safety Department as the new Public Safety Director, overseeing the Hoboken Police Department, Fire Department, and Office of Emergency Management (OEM).
“With our expanding population and City services, Ken’s nearly 30 years of Hoboken experience put him in the best position to lead public safety and assist City Hall as we build off the successes of the past several years,” said Mayor Bhalla. “I look forward to working with Ken in his new role as he leads the process to modernize our public safety facilities.”
Ferrante has served the Hoboken community for nearly three decades, launching his career in public service as a Hoboken Police Officer in 1993, rising in rank until ultimately heading the Hoboken Police Department as the Chief of Police from October 2014 to his retirement in July 2021.
During his tenure, Ferrante has earned numerous awards, including the Combat Cross, Honorable Service Award, and Exceptional Duty Award, among others. He also has a master's degree in criminal justice from New Jersey City University and served as President of the Hudson County Chiefs of Police Association.
He also served as the City of Hoboken's Office of Emergency Management Coordinator from 2013 and 2014, during which time he responded to all active fires and worked with the Administration to launch the Hoboken Ready program and the Rebuild by Design project.
As Chief of the Hoboken Police Department, he has created the HPD's first-ever Waterfront and Parks Unit in 2015 and the department's first Emergency Service Unit. He has also tripled the size of the department's Traffic Unit and doubled the size and hours of the Investigations Bureau.
During his time with the department, Ferrante also served as a commander in various operations, including several natural disasters such as Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Irene as well as local incidents such as the 2013 fatal fire at Marine View Plaza 2 and the fatal 2016 Hoboken Train Crash among others.
"I thank Mayor Bhalla for the opportunity to once again serve the City of Hoboken and its residents in this new role," said Ferrante. "I can't wait to get to work with Acting Fire Chief Peskens, Acting Police Chief Aguiar, and OEM Coordinator Montanez to assist them in getting any resources they need to best run their departments and best protect our residents and visitors."
As Public Safety Director, Ferrante will analyze crime prevention and fire safety preparedness, update and implement strategic public safety policies and procedures that ensure public safety, and adjust departmental methods and protocols to increase operational efficiencies. He will also develop and monitor department budgets while finding cost saving measures, liaise with other agencies, and conduct community relations and public information programs, among other duties.
"I have had the fortune of working with Kenny for a number of years and he is well versed in public safety best practices and procedures," said Acting Fire Chief Anton Peskens. "I know he will be a tremendous asset to our team I look forward to working with him once again."
"Kenny is an ideal choice for Hoboken's new Public Safety Director," said Acting Police Chief Steven Aguiar. "He has the respect of this community, and his support and collaboration will be instrumental as we continue to update our department in accordance with new State guidance."
Ferrante will begin his new role as the City's Public Safety Director on March 16.