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New Jersey police union president calls for "real consequences" after unrest in Ocean City, Wildwood

Ocean City, New Jersey, leaders share changes following chaotic weekend at the Shore
Ocean City, New Jersey, leaders share changes following chaotic weekend at the Shore 02:28

OCEAN CITY, N.J. (CBS) -- In the wake of a chaotic Memorial Day weekend at the Jersey Shore, the leader of New Jersey's police union is calling for harsher penalties for kids and adults displaying bad behavior at the beach.

In a pair of social media posts, New Jersey State Policemen's Benevolent Association President Peter Andreyev said "more needs to be done to allow police to protect our communities," and that the holiday weekend unrest is more proof that "there needs to be real consequences for violent, drunken, and dangerous behavior for both juveniles and adults."

"Having no consequences for bad behavior has proved itself again to be a failed criminal justice policy," he continued. 

Andreyev, who was sworn in as president of the NJSPBA on May 7, made the comments after a series of recent incidents at multiple South Jersey shore towns.

In Ocean City, a 15-year-old boy was stabbed and taken to the hospital after a fight broke out on the boardwalk on Saturday, May 25. Ocean City Police Department Sgt. Dan Lancaster said Monday that the incident remains under investigation and no one's been arrested in connection with the stabbing yet.

Mayor Jay Gillian assured beachgoers in a statement that his office "will not tolerate" fights, disorderly conduct and other bad behavior this summer, and issued a clear message to both parents and teenagers: "If you don't want to behave, don't come."

During a Thursday afternoon press conference in Ocean City, city and county officials reiterated that message.

"If you think you're going to come to our county and disrupt things then you're in the wrong place and we ask you to go somewhere else," said Cape May County Commissioner Director Len Desiderio, who is also the mayor of nearby Sea Isle City. 

"We are going to ask the parents to please keep an eye on your kids. Not all these kids are bad; 95% of them are great," he added.

Police did not identify the 15-year-old stabbing victim but said everyone involved is expected to be OK and no charges have been filed yet. No juveniles were arrested in Ocean City over the weekend, officials said. 

Cape May County officials address safety concerns at Jersey Shore, law enforcement response by CBS Philadelphia on YouTube

"This was an isolated incident by a group of teenagers that were all familiar with one another. We believe this was planned, this fight on the boardwalk," Ocean City Police Chief Bill Campbell said.

Twenty additional seasonal police will be assigned to the Ocean City boardwalk this summer, officials said.

"I just want to send a clear message to our residents and guests Ocean City will always remain a family-friendly town," Gillian said.

The 11 p.m. curfew and backpack ban on the beach and boardwalk in Ocean City will remain unchanged, Gillian said.

"We are going to continue to fight as a legislature to make sure this doesn't continue to happen," New Jersey Assemblyman Antwan McClellan said.

"It's concerning as a merchant because you don't want everyone to take these small moments and think that it's happening on a daily basis," said Kelly Kephart, who manages a business on the boardwalk.

Witnesses describe chaotic scene after 15-year-old boy stabbed on Ocean City, New Jersey, boardwalk by CBS Philadelphia on YouTube

Wildwood also dealt with its share of chaos over the weekend, so much so that city officials and police issued a state of emergency in the early morning hours of Memorial Day and shut down the boardwalk.

The city and police said "numerous incidents of civil unrest" prompted the order, and explained that starting on Saturday and continuing into early Monday, the department was inundated with calls for service related to an "extremely large number of young adults and juveniles" in town for the holiday weekend.

Unable to respond to all the calls, officials moved forward with declaring a state of emergency. After being in effect for several hours early Monday, the order was lifted at 6 a.m. 

Earlier in the week, Desiderio said he planned to meet with the county prosecutor and sheriff to discuss how county resources can help local law enforcement deal with "unrest" on boardwalks.

Ocean City officials say additional police officers will be patrolling the boardwalk this summer by CBS Philadelphia on YouTube
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