What there is to know
- Summer nights may be shortened for children and teens in a coastal New Jersey municipality if the Sea Isle City Council votes to pass a curfew, all in an effort to crack down on unruly minors.
- Sea Isle City could vote Tuesday to enact a curfew for everyone under 18 between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.
- Sea Isle City isn’t the only municipality along the New Jersey shoreline seeking to impose curfews to quell rowdy teenagers who have in the past invaded beaches and boardwalks on summer nights.
NEW JERSEY — Summer nights may get shorter for children and teens in a coastal New Jersey town if the Sea Isle City Council votes to pass a curfew, all in an effort to quell rebellious miners.
Sea Isle City could vote Tuesday to enact a curfew for everyone under 18 between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.
The order establishes that the measure is intended to protect minors as well as other persons.
“The City has an interest in promoting the safety and well-being of the City’s youngest citizens, those under the age of eighteen (18), whose inexperience makes them particularly vulnerable to participating in illegal, particularly drug-related activities, and to be victimized by adults who commit crimes,” the order reads.
Minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian if out at the time, as the ordinance also states that it is “unlawful for any parent or guardian to permit an unaccompanied minor to ‘be on any public road or on any public way during these hours.’ “.
The 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew, if approved, will take place from May 15 to September 15. Thereafter, from September 16 to May 14, the curfew will be 11 p.m. to 6 a.m., and beginning 72 hours before Halloween and on Halloween night, the curfew will be 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. the following day.
If a minor is found to be breaking curfew, they will receive two “curbside warnings” and be required to leave public space. If they refuse, they will be taken to a station and their parents, guardians or guardians will be called. Minors will not receive a citation or charge for juvenile delinquency.
However, if a parent, legal guardian, or guardian violates the order by allowing children or teens outside after curfew, the responsible adult will be fined $250 to $500 for the first offense. . If a second offense occurs within one year of the first, the adult will be fined $500 to $1,000. If a third offense occurs within one year of two or more offenses, the adult will be fined $1,000 to $1,500.
According to the order, it is an attempt to reduce violence and crime among minors in the face of “the threat of continued gathering of young people and others who may become violent compels the adoption of this ban”.
Sea Isle City isn’t the only municipality along the New Jersey shoreline seeking to impose curfews to quell rowdy teenagers who have in the past invaded beaches and boardwalks on summer nights.
Last summer, Toms River reinstated a beach curfew for minors in all communities on its barrier islands, which went into effect at 11 p.m. for everyone 17 and under.
“We’re responding to demand from residents. We had a little pop-up in Ortley Beach, we rounded up a couple hundred kids on Third Avenue, and the week before there was trouble around Wawa (on Highway 35),” Toms River Mayor Mo Hill said last year. “We don’t want to prevent young people from going out and having fun, but we do want to prevent any property damage or mischief that might occur.”
On Memorial Day weekend, parts of Ocean Terrace in the Normandy Beach neighborhood were filled with hundreds of young people.
“You only see unruly children, they go from one street to another. The police chase them from one street, they go to the next street, it’s a real problem,” said Bart Zabelski, who lives in the neighborhood.
Residents said many children come from the area with shuttle companies.
“It’s a nice home environment, but when you’re 200, 300, and I’m not exaggerating, the kids are running down the street, obviously it’s not a nice home environment,” said another resident, Karla.
He said many children were carrying backpacks, which he said were filled with alcohol or other substances. But she said that wasn’t even the worst.
“All these kids have backpacks and you don’t know anything legal,” he said. “They urinate in people’s yards and leave their trash everywhere, and swear like you can’t imagine… worse than a sailor.”
The issue of backpacks is also being tackled by Sea Isle City, where another ordinance could be passed on Tuesday that would see all backpacks banned from the boardwalk, beach and beach street ends. There are exceptions to this measure which would be in cases where one is carrying medical devices in a backpack, essential work equipment for journalistic media, if someone is an officer of the Sea Isle Police Department City during his shift or if someone is actively fishing. on the beach.
In neighboring Brick Township, the curfew was an hour earlier, at 10 p.m. Some Toms River residents have also been pushing for the township to adopt the earlier date. A city spokesperson told our sister network NBC New York last year that they would make adjustments if necessary and that public safety always comes first.
Last year’s curfews came as two other coastal communities further north, Point Pleasant Beach and Long Branch, prepared for pop-up parties, with some of those large gatherings advertised on social media.
Asbury Park Police also said last summer that several social media posts promoted a pop-up party for their beach on summer weekends. Police said those hosting the unauthorized parties will be “financially and legally liable”.
In Ocean City, officials say children are taking a toll, especially on the beach, and leaders say the problem is getting worse. The large groups of teens descending on the Ocean City boardwalk and beach are impossible to miss, and some officials said it has become “the hottest teen nightclub on the Jersey Shore” in this about summer.
Police said last summer the crowds of children were larger with more underage drinking, more marijuana use and more fighting compared to 2021.
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