Ocean City, New Jersey Mayor Jay Gillian has signed a tough order to address that “the beach, boardwalk and other public areas will no longer be open to mass gatherings that include alcohol consumption and other infractions of the law,” said Gilliam.

All beaches in Ocean City will close at 8:00 p.m., seven days a week.

The carrying of backpacks will not be permitted after 8:00 p.m. on the beach and boardwalk.

The Boardwalk bathrooms will be closed at 10 p.m.

The curfew for juveniles will be 11:00 p.m., it used to be 1:00 a.m.

Gilliam is blunt in his criticism that:

The new policies come in response to “the continuation of a trend that began when statewide legislation largely stripped police officers of the ability to question juveniles, search juveniles, and confiscate alcohol. The legislation also eliminates meaningful consequences for juveniles who break these laws,” said Gilliam.

The statistics from the recent past Memorial Day holiday weekend are staggering.

The Ocean City Police Department responded to 999 incidents (up from 869 during Memorial Day Weekend in 2022).

The incidents involved:

Underage drinking, vandalism, assaults, shoplifting, confiscation of a firearm, and a variety of other infractions.

The Ocean City firefighter/EMTs were also busy over the holiday weekend … responding to several incidents involving teens who literally drank to the point of unconsciousness. They also responded to assault victims, mental health issues and other incidents.

"We want parents, grandparents and families to know that we're all in this together, and we will be holding people accountable" Mayor Jay Gillian said. "I also want to send a message to our governor and legislators that the laws they forced on all municipalities are a threat to public safety, and they deprive families of the opportunity to enjoy the Jersey Shore,” said Gilliam.

It is important to note that new beach curfew will apply to people of all ages, along with the evening backpack ban.

The new rules will be part of a citywide plan that will include police staffing, more announcements on the boardwalk and a public awareness campaign.

"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 the end, protecting our reputation as 'America's Greatest Family Resort' will benefit everybody in Ocean City,” said Gilliam.

"I want to support the men and women of our police department. 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,” said Gilliam.

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