Stories produced by St. Peter's Journalism Students
BY LINDA GIANG
He’s in your inbox. He alerts you about recent crimes. He notifies you when streets are closed. You wait for his “school closure” due to “inclement weather” emails. But who exactly is Arthur J. Youmans?
He is a Union City native who devoted nearly 30 years to protecting Jersey City. Youmans began his journey with the Jersey City police department in 1973. He has worked in nearly all aspects of the field in every district in the city. Youmans patrolled the streets, at one point he worked behind the desk at the precinct; he was a detective for while, and even worked in Internal Affairs before climbing the ranks of sergeant, than lieutenant. It’s safe to say this man is intimate with Jersey City.
Youmans walked down memory lane, where he reminisced about some of the calls he had responded to. Some lighter incidents, like the time when he had to help contain a wife from killing her husband for cheating with her sister, he can look back and laugh about now. But then there are also incidents like the husband who mangled his wife then fed her to the dog. It’s crimes like that one that may leave one wondering why anyone would want to do this kind of work with such little recognition. Despite some of the negative stigma against cops, he still loved his job. He describes his line of work as a “labor of love”.
During his years on the job, he has made countless friends, but also lost some close ones. Like most cops, he had sacrificed valuable family time. His health also took a beating, from emotional and physical stress, and not to mention a bruised liver.
“You gotta love it, it’s not for everyone, you really have to love it,” he said.
After 29 years of representing Jersey’s Finest, Youmans retired in 2002. “Retirement is scary, it’s like leaving your family, your home, your country, you’re never sure if it’s the right decision.”
Soon after, he began working for private security companies, but then decided he wanted to stay in his beloved local community.
Youmans joined the Saint Peter’s College campus safety team as the Director in 2007. He recalled the day in 2008 when the college had a bomb threat. A handwritten note was sent to the college by an unknown source saying that there were bombs and firearms inside. Youmans responded immediately, the school was put on lock-down, and everyone was evacuated. Twenty-three police K-9 dogs searched and secured each building. No bombs were found, no one was hurt, and the campus resumed by evening classes. Youmans called the response process “highly successful”.
Although he is no longer in his fine blues, he is still watching, and says he will always be watching. Once a cop, always a cop. At 60 years old, Youmans shows no sign of slowing down.