Ocean City is tightening up restrictions after Memorial Day weekend brought nearly 1,000 complaints, authorities say per NJ.com. City officials are getting ready to instate a city-wide curfew for minors. City officials are also preparing to set limits on access for all ages to the beach and boardwalk area due to behavior displayed by beachgoers over the holiday weekend and unofficial start to summer.
There were 999 incidents that police responded to last weekend. This is an increase of over 130 complaints issued last year’s Memorial Day weekend. The complaints included: “underage drinking, vandalism, assaults, shoplifting, and the confiscation of a gun,” according to a statement from the city obtained by the publication.
City officials have scheduled a meeting for Thursday at 1 p.m. to discuss the beach plan moving forward.
All beaches in Ocean City will be closed at 8 p.m. under the new rules, affecting those of all ages. During the meeting, a curfew will also be discussed for teens. The citywide curfew for those under 18 will move to 11 p.m. instead of 1 a.m. The backpack rule for all beachgoers will also change. No one will be permitted to carry a backpack on the beach or boardwalk after 8 p.m., officials stated. Boardwalk bathrooms will also be closed at 10 p.m.
Ocean City Mayor Jay Gillian said the new rules will help those who wish to visit the beach this summer. “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 a statement per the outlet. “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 continued. “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.”