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New Jersey AG Criticizes Shore Town for Inadequate Police Presence During Boardwalk Melee


SEASIDE HEIGHTS, N.J. –  On Friday, New Jersey’s attorney general said that a town on the Jersey Shore wasn’t checking its boardwalk with enough police officers over the Memorial Day weekend. As a result, the city had to temporarily close the walkway because the police force was too busy.

Matthew Platkin said that Wildwood did not have enough police officers on its boardwalk on Memorial Day weekend, Sunday. The city says it was inundated with calls for help because of teens and young people acting up and making a mess.

Because of the chaos, the city had to close the boardwalk for the night and call in help from other police forces.

A lot of local officials and police supervisors from towns on the Jersey Shore, as well as the president of the statewide police union, say that the changes that New Jersey has made to juvenile justice in the last few years have made teens feel more confident and like the police can’t do much to stop them if they are caught with drugs or alcohol.

Platkin defended the law and blamed Wildwood for not hiring enough police officers, saying that this year they have hired the fewest police officers they’ve ever hired. This was during an event to check boardwalk games of chance to make sure they follow state rules and give customers a fair chance to win.

“I don’t think there were enough police in Wildwood last weekend, and we’re working to fix that,” he stressed.

People in Wildwood were asked how many police officers were on the boardwalk last weekend, but they did not answer. But in a statement, it said that more police officers will be joining soon.

“Today, every police department is short-staffed,” said Steve Mikulski, the commissioner of public safety for Wildwood. “Men and women under 30 don’t go to police or fire schools like they used to.” Right now, people are going through the police school and will start working for us in June. This timetable is used every year.

Ocean City had trouble over Memorial Day weekend for the second year in a row. During that time, a 15-year-old boy was stabbed and is now healing from injuries that are not life-threatening. The case has not been solved.

On Friday, Ocean City Mayor Jay Gillian wrote to residents on the city’s website and said that 23 teens were taken to the police station for fighting, shoplifting, and other offenses. More than 1,300 warnings were given for violations related to drugs, drinking, curfew, and other things.

“The teens who got into these fights knew each other and came to Ocean City to hurt each other,” Gillian said. “That kind of behavior will not be accepted, and our police department is ready to deal with it.”

Critics say that police officers can’t deal with juveniles as much as they used to because of changes to juvenile justice that were meant to keep more kids out of court. The law was changed in January to take away some of the punishment threats made by police to teens they think are in possession of alcohol or weed.

Platkin said on Friday that the rule doesn’t stop police from arresting teens who are involved in violent events.

When you’re having a bad episode, I know you want to find someone to blame. He also said, “But there is no state law that stops police officers from doing their job.” “The law itself isn’t really the point.” Right now, we’re making sure that the right people are in place and have the right training.

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