Senator Robert Singer said the Murphy administration needs to do a better job of listening to and working with local leaders in shore communities who have expressed serious concerns about the impact of pop-up parties on public safety.
Sen. Robert Singer said the Murphy administration needs to do a better job of listening to and working with local leaders in shore communities who have expressed serious concerns about the impact of pop-up parties on public safety. (Flickr)
“The Jersey Shore has always been a welcoming place for visitors, but many small towns are not equipped to handle thousands of teenagers who suddenly pour off trains and flood their streets, boardwalks, and commercial districts for pop-up parties organized on social media,” Singer (R-30) said. “We saw what happened in Long Branch a few weeks ago when 5,000 teens and young adults suddenly showed up in Pier Village. People were jumping on cars, fighting, and openly smoking pot and drinking in public. The local police had an extremely difficult time trying to restore order. Most shore towns looked at what happened in Long Branch and are hoping they’re not next, but hope isn’t a plan. That’s why they’re looking for help and guidance from the Murphy administration that so far has not been forthcoming.”
After the incident in Long Branch, Singer called for Governor Murphy and the Attorney General’s office to create a task force to prevent similar occurrences in the future.
The task force he proposed would include participation from the New Jersey State Police, NJ Transit, the Monmouth and Ocean county prosecutors’ offices, sheriffs’ offices, and police chiefs’ associations.
Singer expressed concern that a conference call held by the Acting Attorney General on Friday with the mayors and police chiefs of shore towns didn’t result in a coordinated plan to address pop-up parties.
“There needs to be better coordination among state and local officials to respond to pop-up parties along with some sort of funding mechanism to help pay for the unexpected cost of calling in extra police to respond,” said Singer. “There also needs to be a real discussion about fixing our laws which prevent police from taking enforcement action for violations committed by minors. Kids know they can’t be touched and they’re taking advantage of it. It’s disappointing these issues weren’t discussed on the Attorney General’s call.”
Singer said continued inaction by the Murphy administration puts the health and welfare of local residents at risk, threatens the safety of visitors, and risks causing additional harm to businesses that are still struggling to recover from the severe economic impact of the pandemic.
“There’s simply too much at risk for the Murphy administration to stay disengaged when it comes to protecting the Jersey Shore this summer,” added Singer. “I urge Governor Murphy and Acting A.G. Platkin to really try to understand what our local officials are saying to them. The problem isn’t a lack of tolerance for visitors who want to enjoy the shore and support the local economy, it’s huge, violent, rowdy mobs that show up with little warning, absolutely no regard for our communities, and little worry that law enforcement can control them. If we don’t work together, these pop-up parties will only become more frequent and more dangerous. I can’t believe the Murphy administration wants that to happen, but it will if they continue to do nothing.”
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