Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Addressing the Situation

Last night, at the informal Common Council meeting, Chief Ed Moore of the Hudson Police Department spoke about the unsettling recent events in the city and HPD's response. 

He began by cataloging the specific incidents: an assault on a senior citizen by some juveniles in October; a home invasion at Hudson Terrace on November 29, also involving juveniles; shots fired in the street on the afternoon of December 2; shots fired in the street in the early morning of December 10. Three of these incidents have gotten a fair amount of media coverage; the first has not. The victim, whom Moore described as a "senior citizen," is a man in his early 60s. According to his deposition, here's what happened at about 8:40 p.m. on Friday, October 14, near the corner of Warren and Second streets. I have edited out names, descriptors, and some obscenities.
. . . I was walking down Warren Street on my way to Hudson Brewing with my friend. . . . As we approached 2nd Street, coming down Warren Street, on the odd side of the street, we encountered a group of kids blocking the sidewalk in front of the 2nd and Warren Store. As we got closer to the group I said "can you make a path so we can get through" in which the whole group made a path but then began to yell at us. The group began to make statements like "what do you think you're from the city and can do whatever you want?" "Who the fuck do you think you are, this is our town." [We] continued to walk down Warren Street on the 200 block, Approximately 10 or 11 of them began to follow us down the street, continuing to make statements towards us . . . in which I replied "You're the one with the problem . . . I grew up in this town" and pointed towards my house.
As I was pointing, one of the subjects . . . who was standing in front of me, punched me in the left side of my face with his right closed fist, causing me to fall to my knees. At that time, the rest of the group of kids . . . joined in and began to punch and kick me in the stomach and head. I then got up and walked out into the middle of Warren Street as the group continued to hit me, this was my attempt to get the group off me.
People in the area then noticed and I began to call 911. At that time the group of kids ran in all different directions.
Some of the kids involved in the assault later posted about their exploit on social media.

At the Council meeting last night, Moore said that the police have identified the juveniles involved in the assault and explained that juveniles cannot be arrested for "nonqualifying crimes" (it seems qualifying crimes are violent felonies), but HPD is moving forward with a civil action against them, working with the county attorney to address the charges in "Family Court, probation, or whatever." 

Regarding the incident that occurred at Hudson Terrace on November 29, Moore said they had identified the people involved in that incident as well--mostly minors but also some adults. 

Moore said that HPD had contacted local law enforcement and all had agreed to have some kind of roundtable or task force, to include representatives from the Hudson City School District, youth groups, and perhaps members of the Common Council, to sit down and identify some of the "hard cases" and "see if there are some kind of alternative approaches that we can use to address the problem." Moore said they were in the middle of setting up this roundtable when the two instances of shots fired occurred, on December 2 and December 10. He spoke then of more visible foot patrols in the area of the city below Third and north of Warren and the command post being established at Third and Columbia streets. He assured the Council that "every asset available will be used . . . to get to the bottom of this and prevent it from happening again." 

Responding to a question from Councilmember Theo Anthony (Fourth Ward) about the proposed roundtable or task force, Moore said, "We see our limitations within the current legal system to rein in certain behaviors so we wanted to take an approach that wasn't just what the police department could do." He acknowledged that the problem involved "only a small minority of our kids."

Commenting on the situation, Claire Cousin, county supervisor representing the First Ward, said she "puts the responsibility back on the City and the County, on how how we invest in our youth." She spoke specifically of a "lack of programs that catch all our youth."

The video recording of the meeting, available on YouTube, can be found here. The relevant part of Moore's report begins at 28:06.


  1. No. Sorry Claire. The responsibility for raising kids and monitoring their behavior is NOT the responsibility of anyone but the parent(s). What are a bunch of minors doing at 8:40 on a Friday night just hanging out on Warren Street? "How we invest in our youth?" Don't we have a Youth Department that we have invested in (that the taxpayers of Hudson are paying a lot of money for)!? "Lack programs that catch all of our youth?" What programs?! These kids are learning (clearly at an early age it seems) that they aren't responsible for their own actions and won't be held accountable for their behavior. Where are they learning that from? People who think that raising these kids (and, sorry to say it, disciplining them) is someone else's responsibility. Sorry (not) I call bullish*t.

    1. Bravo, Wowser, whom ever you are — took the words right out of my mouth. Ms. Cousins’s position seems a complete abdication of parental responsibility.

  2. The incident at Hudson Terrace Apartments (HTA) is not much of a surprise. Management there seems to be non-existent. I once tried to complain about excessive noise from a parking lot of theirs adjacent to Promenade, but no one in the HTA office would qualify as management or take my complaint, and I was given an 800 number to call. I left a message and never heard back from anyone at HTA.

    1. About 5 years ago I made a complaint in person being a local homeowner. The "manager" was a tough, and responded by threatening me!

      I retreated from this new menace and went to the HPD instead, which is where I should've gone in the first place.

    2. Claire knows about support for kids......she's lived the life......those who don't understand most likely were not in that position during their developmental years. Hang in there Claire...you are on the right track.

  3. No amount of intensified policing or policy initiatives is going to make a difference. The answer to these problems is for families within the community to take responsibility for their youth.

  4. It takes a village to raise a child, but many of us have forgotten that "raising" includes disciplining. And disciplining means not just "the strap," but also the rules of the road, guardrails, borders, frames of reference, habits of mind and body, cultural norms, respect for others, etc. etc. Oh yes, and deadlines. --peter m

  5. Peter and I haven't agreed on too much but we are on the same page with this issue. All kids are not designed to fit into one program or one set of rules. And since when is it "not my job" to help guide and reinforce appropriate behavior? So many expect proper behavior from so many, but are not, or don't want to be involved in that process. Just point your fingers and complain, that's seems to be the way of our world.

  6. I do not disagree that parents play the first and most important role in a young person's development. My point was that, it seems as though people are putting the handling of this situation solely on the Chief to end the violence and create a solution for young people to stay out of trouble. There are a ton of factors that go into why a teenager would be outside at 8:40 pm and we are not all so naïve that we cannot drum up a few logical reasons. Adolescents do adolescent things. They make mistakes and have lapses in judgement. I am in no way condoning any of the violence. Some of these kids are from an environment many of you will never experience. Or you have experienced and were fortunate enough to have figured out how to beat the odds and change your narrative. Most of these kids, as a direct result of the lack of investment, in teens specifically, are not afforded the opportunity to learn from a mistake because punishment is the go-to over accountability and repairing the damage caused by their mistakes. I grew up in Hudson, benefiting from some of the best versions of youth programming the city had to offer. Those experiences allowed me to explore beyond the streets of Hudson, they allowed me to openly process situations that my adolescent mind did not have the experience to soundly decipher. It was safer to grow up. I made many mistakes as a young person, but was surrounded by people who encouraged me to continue evolving and tap into my potential. TSL, The Badilla's, Mike Fulton of the Afterschool program, Kamal, Thomas Gavin. I was able to tap into music, and painting, and theater. I had opportunities to learn myself. Opportunities that my amazing parents could not offer me, and even if they could, I would not have received it as well as I did coming from individuals that I felt saw a different version of me than my parents. I am so open to continuing this conversation with ANYONE who agrees, disagrees, just wants to be heard out or is willing to hear me out. We have so much potential in the City of Hudson and my heart breaks every single day that a new incident occurs. I believe it takes a village, the village starts at home, and after that we can all do a part to foster kids who care about the place they live and care to be amazing people who felt valued.

    feel free to reach out, I am open and passionate when it comes to youth work.