OCEAN CITY, N.J (WHTM) — A New Jersey shore town has enacted new policies that hope to curb underage drinking, vandalism, and other incidents on the beaches and in the community.
Ocean City, New Jersey Mayor Jay Gillian signed off on orders saying the boardwalk and other public areas will no longer be open to mass gatherings that include alcohol consumption and other unlawful activities
According to the policies, all beaches in Ocean City will be closed at 8 p.m., and carrying backpacks will not be permitted after 8 p.m. on both the beach and boardwalk.
Boardwalk bathrooms will be closed after 10 p.m. and a curfew will be put in place for juveniles will move from 1 a.m. to 11 p.m.
The new beach curfew and the backpack ban will apply to people of all ages. These new rules will be part of a citywide plan that will also include more police and a public awareness campaign.
“We want parents, grandparents, and families to know that we’re all in this together, and we will be holding people accountable,” Mayor Gillian said. “I also want to send a message to our governor and legislators that the laws they forced on all municipalities are a threat to public safety, and they deprive families of the opportunity to enjoy the Jersey Shore.”
Over the recent Memorial Day weekend, police responded to 999 incidents which include underage drinking, assaults, shoplifting, and other incidents. Firefighters and EMTs were also busy dealing with several incidents involving teens who drank to the point of unconsciousness, assault victims, and other issues.
“I understand that these new directives will affect many people who are not teens, but it’s important that we stop this type of behavior now,” Gillian said. “In the end, protecting our reputation as ‘America’s Greatest Family Resort’ will benefit everybody in Ocean City.”
“I want to support the men and women of our police department,” Gillian said. “They have been doing everything they can – within the law – to address this situation, and I want to give them the tools to get the job done.”