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Ocean City, N.J. enacts new rules on beach, boardwalk to crackdown on unruly teens

Ocean City, N.J. enacts new rules to crackdown on unruly teens
Ocean City, N.J. enacts new rules to crackdown on unruly teens 02:57

OCEAN CITY, N.J. (CBS) -- Ocean City, New Jersey is enacting new rules on its beach and boardwalk following Memorial Day weekend to "stop gatherings of drunken teens."

Mayor Jay Gillian announced Tuesday Ocean City's beaches will close at 8 p.m. Carrying backpacks on the beach and boardwalk will no longer be permitted after 8 p.m. 

Bathrooms on the boardwalk will also close at 10 p.m. and the curfew for juveniles has been moved from 1 a.m. to 11 p.m.

The new policies came after Ocean City police responded to 999 incidents over the holiday weekend. According to a release, Ocean City police responded to 869 incidents during Memorial Day weekend last year. 

Police responded to incidents of underage drinking, vandalism, assault, shoplifting, and the confiscation of a firearm, among others. 

"We want parents, grandparents and families to know that we're all in this together, and we will be holding people accountable," Gillian said in a release. "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." 

The new curfew on the beach applies to people of all ages. 

"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."

"I want to support the men and women of our police department," he added. "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." 

It's not surprising that the boardwalk is calmer after the holiday, but the effectiveness of Gillian's ordinances will be tested in the weeks to come. Some people CBS News Philadelphia spoke with believe it will help. 

"Teenagers are very unpredictable and coming from a reliable source, sometimes you just can't trust what they're putting in their bags," Benjamin Leppo said. 

While others aren't as confident that the new rules will make a difference. 

"Not really, to be honest," Nathan Wagner said. "I think teens are going to do what they want to do. Even if the curfew is 11 p.m. or whatever, they'll still be out I think, I don't know." 

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