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Hackensack is a city in Bergen Countymarker, New Jerseymarker, United Statesmarker and the county seat of Bergen Countymarker. Although informally called Hackensack, it was officially named New Barbadoes Township until 1921. As of the United States 2000 Census, the city population was 42,677. The Census Bureau's 2006 population estimate projects a population of 43,671. An inner-ring suburb of New York Citymarker, Hackensack is located approximately 12 miles (19 km) northwest of Midtown Manhattan. From a number of locations one can see the New York Citymarker skyline.

The Metropolitan campus of Fairleigh Dickinson Universitymarker straddles the Hackensack River in both Hackensack and Teaneckmarker. Hackensack is also the home of the New Jersey Naval Museummarker and the World War II submarine USS Lingmarker. Astronaut Walter Schirra is perhaps Hackensack's most famous native son.


Hackensack is located at (40.887797, -74.047978).

It is bordered by Paramusmarker, River Edgemarker, Teaneckmarker, Bogotamarker, Ridgefield Parkmarker, Little Ferrymarker, South Hackensackmarker, Hasbrouck Heightsmarker, Lodimarker, and Maywoodmarker.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.3 square miles (11.2 km2), of which, 4.1 square miles (10.7 km2) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.5 km2) of it (4.41%) is water.


As of the census of 2000, there were 42,677 people, 18,113 households, and 9,545 families residing in the city. The population density was 10,358.3 people per square mile (3,999.4/km2). There were 18,945 housing units at an average density of 4,598.2/sq mi (1,775.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 52.61% White, 24.65% African American, 0.45% Native American, 7.45% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 9.71% from other races, and 5.08% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 25.92% of the population.

There were 18,113 households out of which 21.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.8% were married couples living together, 13.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 47.3% were non-families. 39.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 3.08.

In the city the population was spread out with 18.2% under the age of 18, 8.6% from 18 to 24, 38.4% from 25 to 44, 22.3% from 45 to 64, and 12.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 98.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $49,316, and the median income for a family was $56,953. Males had a median income of $39,636 versus $32,911 for females. The per capita income for the city was $26,856. About 6.8% of families and 9.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.1% of those under age 18 and 10.3% of those age 65 or over.


Local Government

Hackensack operates under the 1923 Municipal Manager Law form of New Jersey municipal government. The City Council consists of five members who are elected to four-year terms on a concurrent basis in non-partisan elections. This form of government separates policy making (the work of the Mayor and City Council) from the execution of policy (the work of the City Manager). This maintains professional management and a City-wide perspective through: nonpartisan election, at-large representation, concentration of executive responsibility in the hands of a professional manager accountable to the Mayor and Council, concentration of policy making power in one body: a five-person Mayor and Council. In the several decades in which the City has used the Municipal Manager Form of Government, Hackensack has had only nine City Managers.

The Mayor of the City of Hackensack is Michael R. Melfi (term of office ends June 30, 2009). Other members of the Hackensack City Council are Deputy Mayor Marlin G. Townes (2009), Charles P. McAuliffe (2009), Jorge E. Meneses (2009) and Karen K. Sasso (2009).
The Bergen County Court House

After Joe DeFalco died in 2005 on Election Day, his running mates agreed to create a rotation under which each of the four surviving members of the New Visions for Hackensack slate would serve for a year as Mayor, creating a series of firsts for the City. Townes took office in 2005 as the city's first black mayor, and Sasso became the first female mayor in 2006. Meneses became Hackensack's first Hispanic mayor when he was sworn in on July 1, 2007, and Melfi takes the reins as mayor in 2008.

Former Assemblyman Charles "Ken" Zisa has served as Chief of the Hackensack Police Department, since his 1995 appointment to replace John Aletta.

Federal, state and county representation

Hackensack is part of New Jersey's 37th Legislative District and is in the Ninth Congressional District.


As of April 1, 2006, out of a 2004 Census estimated population of 43,681 in Hackensack, there were 17,933 registered voters (41.1% of the population, vs. 55.4% in all of Bergen County). Of registered voters, 4,838 (27.0% vs. 20.7% countywide) were registered as Democrats, 1,945 (10.8% vs. 19.2% countywide) were registered as Republicans and 11,142 (62.1% vs. 60.1% countywide) were registered as Undeclared. There were eight voters registered to other parties.

On the national level, Hackensack leans strongly toward the Democratic Party. In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 71% of the vote here, defeating Republican George W. Bush, who received around 28%.


The Hackensack Public Schools serve students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. Schools in the district (with 2005-06 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are four K-4 elementary schools — Fairmount Elementary School (540 students), Fanny Meyer Hillers School (452), Jackson Avenue Elementary School (407) and Nellie K. Parker Elementary School (445) — 5ive 6ix School serves grades 5 and 6 (647), Hackensack Middle School serves grades 7 and 8 (715) andHackensack High Schoolmarker for grades 9-12 (1,854).

The high school serves students from Hackensack, Maywoodmarker, Rochelle Parkmarker and South Hackensackmarker. Students from Teterboromarker may attend either Hackensack High School or Hasbrouck Heights High Schoolmarker.

The Bergen County Academiesmarker, a public magnet high school located in Hackensack, serves the high-school population of Bergen County, as part of the Bergen County Technical Schoolsmarker district.

The Metropolitan campus of Fairleigh Dickinson Universitymarker straddles the Hackensack River in both Hackensack and Teaneckmarker.

The YCS George Washington School is a fully accredited, nonprofit, private school for classified students ages 5–14 who are experiencing behavioral and/or emotional difficulties. Its population consists of students who reside at the YCS Holley Child Care and Development Center in Hackensack and students within the surrounding communities whose needs cannot be adequately met in special education programs within their districts.


The city is served by three train stations on New Jersey Transit's Pascack Valley Line, two of them in Hackensack. Anderson Street Stationmarker serves Northern Hackensack while Essex Street Stationmarker serves Southern portions of the city. The North Hackensack Stationmarker also serves the northernmost parts of Hackensack, and The Shops at Riversidemarker, but the station is in the southernmost part of River Edgemarker, adjoining Hackensack.

New Jersey Transit buses include lines 144, 157, 162, 163, 164, 165 and 168 serving the Port Authority Bus Terminalmarker in Midtown Manhattan; the 175, 178 and 182 to the George Washington Bridge Bus terminalmarker; the 76 to Newarkmarker; the 83 route to Jersey Citymarker; and local service on the 709, 712, 751, 752, 753, 755, 756, 762, 770, 772 and 780 lines.

Interstate 80, Route 17, Route 4, and County Route 503 serve Hackensack, while there are many other main roads in Hackensack.

The Passaic-Bergen Rail Line is a planned rail system that will have two stops in Hackensack.

Emergency services



The Hackensack Volunteer Ambulance Corps Inc. provides emergency medical services to Hackensack and other nearby towns through mutual aid agreements. The Corps operates nightly 6pm-6am, and 24 hours on Saturday and Sundays. Daytime EMS is provided by the Hackensack University Medical Center'smarker ambulance service seven days a week (overlapping volunteer coverage on weekends). Both the Hackensack University Medical Center and Hackensack Volunteer Ambulance Corps are dispatched by MICCOM, the Northern New Jersey Mobile Intensive Care Communications. MICCOM provides dispatch and emergency medical call taking with pre-arrival instructions and updates.


The first inhabitants of the area were the Lenni Lenape Native Americans (known to the European settlers as the Delaware) who lived along the valley of what they called the Achinigeu-hach, or "Ackingsah-sack", (today the Hackensack River) and spoke a Munsee dialect of the Algonquian languages. A representation of Chief Oratam of the Achkinhenhcky appears on the Hackensack municipal seal.

As the Dutch settlers of the Dutch West India Company in New Amsterdam (present-day New York Citymarker) moved west of the Hudson River in the 1660s, they eventually settled along the Hackensack River calling the area Bergen.

Oratam, sagamore of the Lenni Lenape, deeded the land to the Dutch in 1665 ( see the seal of Bergen County). The area was soon taken by the English in 1669, but kept its Dutch name. Philip Cartaret, governor of what was then considered the proprietary colony of East Jersey granted land to Captain John Berry in the area of Bergen and soon after took up residence and called it "New Barbadoes," after having resided on the island of Barbadoes.

In 1675, the East Jersey Legislature officially established the first four counties of present day New Jersey, (Bergenmarker, Essexmarker, Middlesexmarker, and Monmouthmarker).

New Barbadoes Township, together with Acquackanonk Township, were formed by Royal Charter on October 31, 1693.

The neighborhood that came to be known as the village of Hackensack (today the area encompassing Bergen County's municipal buildings in Hackensack) was a part of Essex County until 1710, when Bergen County, by royal decree of Queen Anne of Great Britain, was enlarged and the Township of New Barbadoes was removed from Essex County and added to Bergen County.

In 1710, the village of Hackensack in the newly formed Township of New Barbadoes was designated as being more centrally located and more easily reached by the majority of the Bergen County’s inhabitants, and hence was chosen as the county seat of Bergen County (as it remains today). During the American Revolutionary War, George Washington headquartered in New Barbadoes Township in the village of Hackensack in November 1776 and camped on 'The Green' across from the First Dutch Reformed Church. This prepared the way for the first American victory of the Revolution the following month at the Battle of Trenton.

The New Jersey Legislature passed a school act in 1894. Each village, borough, town, or city in New Jersey was delegated responsibility for its own public schools through the office of the county superintendent. One result of the 1894 Act was the formation of Hackensack High Schoolmarker in the village of Hackensack in the Township of New Barbadoes.

Over the centuries, after many departures, secessions, and de-annexations due to what is now referred to as Boroughitis, all that was left of New Barbadoes Township was the village of Hackensack and its surrounding neighborhoods (Fairmount, Red Hill, Cherry Hill). On November 21, 1921, based on the results of a referendum held on November 8, 1921, New Barbadoes Township received its charter to incorporate as a city and officially took on its name “Hackensack,” a name derived from its original inhabitants, the Lenni-Lenape, who named it "Ackingsah-sack."

Points of interest

Hackensack's Church On The Green
First Dutch Reformed Churchmarker (“Church on The Green”); built 1696. In 1696 Major Berry donated land for the First Dutch Reformed Church, erected in that same year, (which still stands in Hackensack today as the oldest church in Bergen County and the second oldest church in New Jersey). The following is list of notable people buried in the Church's adjoining cemetery:

North Jersey Media Group. Bergen County’s largest newspaper, The Record, calls Hackensack its home. The North Jersey Media Group (NJMG) publishes two daily newspapers; 41 local newspapers; a magazine, (201) The Best of Bergen; and operates several local web sites. Scheduled tours of their printing facility are available to groups.

New Jersey Naval Museummarker and the World War II submarine USS Lingmarker, a Balao class submarine, and several smaller water vessels and artifacts. The museum is open select weekdays for group tours.

Other points of interest within the city include the Hackensack University Medical Centermarker, Hackensack River County Park, the Church on the Green, the Ice House rink, and the Bergen County Courthouse.

The Shops at Riversidemarker (formerly known as Riverside Square Mall), is an upscale shopping center located at the intersection of Route 4 and Hackensack Avenue at the northern edge of the city along the Hackensack River. The mall, which is in the process of a fairly significant expansion, is anchored by a number of high-end department stores and restaurants, including Bloomingdale's, Saks Fifth Avenue, Tiffany & Co., Pottery Barn and Barnes & Noble.

Bergen County Jailmarker is a detention center for both sentenced and unsentenced prisoners.

Local media

Radio station WNYM at 970 AM, is licensed to Hackensack and has its transmitter in the city. The station is currently owned by Salem Communications with a Conservative Talk format. During the 1970s, it played a Top 40 music format for several years, competing (unsuccessfully) with Top 40 powerhouse 77 WABC marker.

Hackensack in Popular Culture

Hackensack has been mentioned in the lyrics of songs by several musical artists, many of whom have lived in New Jersey or New York City. The town was home to the legendary Van Gelder recording studio where jazz greats Sonny Rollins and Thelonious Monk recorded some of their landmark work. Monk recorded a tribute to Rudy Van Gelder entitled "Hackensack". Other notable examples of Hackensack in songs include: Furthermore, the Danishmarker rockband Hackensack has taken their name from the town.

Hackensack also appears in movies, books and television.

Stanley, the waiter, to Happy Loman in Act 2, "But I know you, you ain't from Hackensack. You know what I mean? "
  • The 1985 film Brewster's Millions starred Richard Pryor, who played a pitcher for the Hackensack Bulls, a fictional minor-league baseball team.
  • In the 1998 film Bride of Chucky, Chucky's human body is said to be buried in a fictional Hackensack cemetery.
  • In the 2001 film Zoolander, Hackensack is mentioned as where Mugatu first made his novelty neck ties.
  • Season 1 Episode 48 of Pinky and the Brain is set in the Hackensack Socko Kicky Sack Kicker Factory.
  • Get Fuzzy, the comic created by Darby Conley, takes place in Bostonmarker, however Bucky was found on top of a trash can in Hackensack by Rob Wilco.
  • On an episode of the Sopranos Vito is seen shopping at the local Hackensack Stop and Shop Store#817
  • In the 2002 film Igby Goes Down, the main character, Igby Slocumb, tells Sookie Sapperstein that he needs to go to Hackensack to take his GED test. The following scene shows Igby boarding a NJ Transit bus at the Port Authority Bus Terminalmarker in Midtown Manhattan, with the electronic sign in the front of the bus clearly indicating "Hackensack" as its destination.

Notable residents

Notable current and former residents of Hackensack include:


External links

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