Toms River, NJ Mayor and governing body institute overnight curfew for minors
It's been somewhat of an inauspicious beginning to the early summer season along the North End and Ortley Beach sections of Toms River with juveniles becoming engaged in rowdy and unruly behavior dating back to Memorial Day weekend of this year.
The residents have had enough.
This was a topic Toms River Police Chief Mitch Little discussed recently on the air as well as a guest on 'Shore Time with Vin and Dave' on May 29 on 94.3 The Point and 105.7 The Hawk with regards to residents complaints on the unruly behavior in this section of town.
"We have people that come down and rent with their young kids and families and the goal is to have a nice house to stay in and walk to the beach and enjoy their day at the beach and then we have other people that come in and want to be rowdy all night long until 2:00-3:00 in the morning," Chief Little previously told Townsquare Media.
Chief Little later continued by adding, "we do have a little bit of a problem on the north end with the Wawa where people hang out, normally, longer than they should and we get a lot of complaints up there, so we're constantly up there trying to get rid of people who are loitering and hanging out making all kinds of noise and things like that. Everybody wants us to put a curfew in."
As a result of the unruly behavior in this part of town over the last couple of summers, there's been additional Toms River Police Officers patrolling the area.
"Normally, we have a certain amount of patrols. It changes in the winter, so we go down to minimums, so we have a police car at each end of the beach, we have a North End officer and a south end Ortley officer but in the summer time we definitely pad that, we add more officers, we have Class I Officers, we have, basically, we call it a power squad where we put other officers on the beach, we have quads, we have bicycle patrols, obviously roving patrols with police cars and then we're putting on this power squad to deal with these kinds of issues to give everybody a good quality of life."
On Tuesday, Toms River Mayor Maurice "Mo" Hill and his administration announced that a similar curfew that was in effect the last couple of summers will be reinstituted for the summer of 2022, under Governor Murphy's Executive Order No. 103, the township said.
The main difference is that it will now include the Ortley Beach section of the township.
From now until September 30, anyone 17-years-old and younger is not allowed to be outdoors unless unaccompanied by a parent or guardian in the North Beach and Ortley Beach sections between the hours of 11:00 pm and 5:00 am.
There are obvious exceptions to the curfew such as medical emergencies, or in the case of traveling to and from a job, religious or educational functions, or a private gathering.
This curfew will also provide an exception for minors to run errands or if they have legitimate business to do, if instructed by a parent or guardian.
If someone is found to be in violation of this curfew, they'll be subject to being charged with a disorderly person's offense and penalties in Toms River Municipal Court.
“The curfews worked well in 2020 and 2021,” Mayor Hill said in a written statement. “We had few if any disturbances during those seasons and we do not want a repeat of what happened during the Memorial Day weekend this year. With the threat of “pop-up” parties being promoted on social media, we need to give our Police Officers the authority to maintain the peace in our family friendly beach communities.”
Toms River Police Chief Mitch Little who also serves as the Toms River Emergency Management Coordinator, signed the proclamation.
“The goal and focus of this curfew is not to target children enjoying their time at the shore, but rather to address the destructive behavior we have experienced on both public and private property with large groups of juveniles. It is our responsibility to preserve the quality of life in our beach communities for everyone, “ Chief Little said in a written statement.