HOBOKEN, NJ – Hoboken Police Benevolent Association President Vincent Lombardi is calling on the city to clear police headquarters on Hudson Street of personnel while contractors remove asbestos-tainted tiles from the lobby.
A contractor began removing the tiles yesterday and city officials say the work should be completed by tomorrow.
Police personnel who have remained at headquarters during the renovations were notified by an environmental consultant that “emergency asbestos abatement” work would begin in the lobby yesterday morning. While most departments have been moved into a trailer, some bureaus remain open at 102 Hudson St., including the detectives, traffic, identification, and the vice squad, as well as the Office of the Chief of Police and dispatch center.
Signs at the front headquarters entrance door warn that respirators and protective clothing must be worn in the abatement area in the ground floor lobby.
Curtains of black bags draped from the ceilings separate police officers and the public from the work site.
Lombardi said the asbestos was discovered after he and Police Superior Officers Association President John Petrosino asked the state environmental agency to inspect the work site because of concerns about dust in the air.
“The building is safe and all precautions are being been taken,” city spokesman Juan Melli said in an email.
“Trace amounts of asbestos were detected in the mastic (adhesive for the tiles) which is currently being removed from the building,” Melli said. “Air quality sampling was performed to ensure that the environment adjacent to the work zone was in fact safe for occupancy by Police Department personnel, and the results came back negative for asbestos.”
Lombardi is not convinced.
“It’s nice for the mayor and public safety director to say it’s safe when they are not in the building,” he said. “Why did they post a sign saying there is a hazardous material if it’s not dangerous?”
From The Jersey Journal