Toms River-June 14- Mayor Maurice B. “Mo” Hill’s administration has responded to complaints from residents of the barrier island beach communities within the Township’s borders of unruly behavior by juveniles during the Memorial Day weekend by reinstituting a curfew for people 17 years old and younger that was in effect during the 2020 and 2021 summer seasons.
The curfew, which went into effect on June 13 and extends through September 30, prohibits minors aged 17 or under to be outdoors unaccompanied by a parent or guardian in North Beach and Ortley Beach from 11pm through 5 am. Exceptions include medical emergencies, travel to and from gainful employment, travel to and from religious or education functions, and travel to and from a private gathering. Juveniles may also perform errands or legitimate business if instructed to do so by their parent or guardian.
The current curfew, which was enacted via proclamation signed by Police Chief Mitch Little in his capacity as Emergency Management Coordinator of the Township, differs from the 2020 and 2021 proclamations which did not include Ortley Beach. The 2020 curfew started at 9pm and the 2021 curfew started at 10pm.
The curfew is enacted under the authority of Governor Murphy’s Executive Order No. 103.
Those violating the curfew could be charged with a disorderly person’s offense and subject to penalties imposed by the Toms River Municipal Court.
“The curfews worked well in 2020 and 2021,” said Mayor Hill. “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.”
“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, “said Police Chief Mitch Little.