Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Introduces Safe Place Program

In a proactive effort to combat the rise of hate and bias crimes, the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office has unveiled the Safe Place Program. This new initiative aims to enhance public awareness and foster a supportive environment for victims within the community.

With hate crimes on the rise nationwide, law enforcement agencies are increasingly recognizing the need to address this alarming trend. The Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office has taken a significant step forward by launching the Safe Place Program, which seeks to empower individuals and educate the community about hate and bias crimes.

Under this innovative program, participating local businesses and organizations will display distinctive Safe Place decals in their windows, signaling their commitment to providing a secure haven for victims and promoting inclusivity. These designated establishments will serve as points of refuge where victims can seek temporary shelter and assistance while waiting for law enforcement to arrive.

The Safe Place Program does not solely rely on physical spaces but also encompasses a comprehensive educational component. The Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office will conduct training sessions for employees of participating businesses and organizations, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to respond effectively and compassionately to victims of hate and bias crimes.

By actively engaging with the community, the Safe Place Program aims to bridge the gap between law enforcement and citizens, fostering trust and encouraging the reporting of hate incidents. The Prosecutor’s Office understands the importance of victims feeling supported and protected during such distressing times. By establishing these safe havens, individuals will be more likely to come forward and report incidents, knowing that they have a network of support ready to assist them.

Moreover, the Safe Place Program will collaborate with local schools and community organizations to implement awareness campaigns and educational workshops, targeting both young people and adults. These initiatives will focus on highlighting the impact of hate and bias crimes, promoting tolerance, and fostering unity among diverse populations.

“The Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office is proud to facilitate the Safe Place initiative and serve as a bridge that connects law enforcement to their communities in a joint effort to address hate and bias crimes,” said Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez. “Hudson County is often celebrated for its diversity and it is my hope this program will continue to define our community as a safe place for everyone, regardless of religion, race, or background.”

              With the support of the Hoboken Police Department, the Hudson County Safe Place program officially launched on Monday, June 5, 2023, at three local businesses:

  • The Hive, a coffee and lifestyle shop located at 1000 Park Avenue
  • Uncle Milton Cafe, an LGBTQ+ owned cafe located at 1119 Jefferson Street
  • Bean Vault Coffee, a law enforcement owned coffee shop located at 1 Newark Street                                                                                                                                “The Hoboken Police Department does not tolerate any type of bias or hate crime in our diverse and accepting City,” said Hoboken Police Chief Steven Aguiar. “We are honored to be supporting the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office in this nationwide effort to even better protect all residents and visitors. We encourage all of our businesses and organizations to consider participating in this voluntary program, which will help us continue to provide a safe and welcoming environment, for all.”

In launching the Safe Place Program, the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office sends a strong message that hate and bias crimes will not be tolerated within the community. By working together, law enforcement, businesses, organizations, and residents can create an environment that fosters acceptance, equality, and respect for all.

The introduction of the Safe Place Program marks an important milestone in the ongoing battle against hate and bias crimes. As other jurisdictions face similar challenges, the initiative implemented by the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office serves as a model for fostering awareness, providing support, and ultimately striving for a more inclusive society.