In Hoboken, a community dinner held every month is helping residents get to know each other and discuss common issues in the city.

Police Chief Ken Ferrante says some of his officers also take part in these gatherings, which he says are rather low key —"just about getting to know each other."

"It actually started with an unfortunate situation in January of 2017 where there was a homicide of a 19-year-old individual in Hoboken," he said. "We had a community meeting with all elected officials, police officials and members of the community. They actually threw out an idea of why don't we start doing a community dinner right in the place where we were having a community meeting that night."

They usually get around a hundred Hoboken residents in attendance at Monroe Gardens, a senior housing tower owned by the Hoboken Housing Authority.

Ferrante says he wants the city residents at these dinners to learn about the police.

"We start getting good discussion about potential problems and then we start trying to address them before they become an incident or become a bad situation," he said.

Local church and community leaders also participate.

"Let's sit around let's talk have dinner," he said. "It's really an engaging, community-building event."

Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5

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