Ocean City’s Rising Tide of Teen Problems Solved… for Now

by Laura DeSiena
ocean city, new jersey

New boardwalk and beach restrictions for teens are being enforced starting June 16 in Ocean City, NJ, following a rowdy Memorial Day weekend.

Over the holiday weekend, large crowds of an estimated 3,000-5,000 underage youth gathered, infiltrating the area with out-of-control behavior. Police responded to 999 incidents, which is an increase of 130 from last year. 

The police reports consisted of underage drinking, vandalism, shoplifting, assault, and confiscation of a gun and other weapons. Disrespectful behavior also ensued towards staff members and cops working both the beach and boardwalk. According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, two municipal bathroom attendants were spit on while on the clock and both immediately quit as a result.

During an emergency council meeting on June 1, Mayor Jay Gillian proposed a number of boardwalk and beach restrictions that include: A beach curfew of 8 p.m., no backpacks allowed after 8 p.m on both the beach and boardwalk, closure of boardwalk bathrooms at 10 p.m. and the curfew for juveniles moved back to 11 p.m. from the previous 1 a.m. The immediate implementation of these rules was a unanimous decision voted by the members of the city council.

The rules hope to eliminate late-night congregating by teens and decrease the number of juvenile incidences. Residents have conflicting concerns about whether the new rules will be positive or negative for their community. Some worry that the rules will create an inaccessible experience for visitors or even push teens into more residential areas. However, the council remains optimistic about this first step to protect Ocean City residents, visitors, and businesses from harm.

About the Author/s

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Laura DeSiena is a certified Jersey Girl with a passion for music, playing the guitar, and binge-watching 90’s sitcoms. As an aspiring writer and author, she hopes to publish a book someday. When she’s not writing, you can usually find her browsing the shelves of Barnes & Noble in search of her next read.

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