Home Police, Fire & Courts Toms River Police: Island’s North Beach Curfew Is Working

Toms River Police: Island’s North Beach Curfew Is Working

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The Chadwick Beach Wawa store, about midnight, July 22, 2020. (Photo: Daniel Nee)
The Chadwick Beach Wawa store, about midnight, July 22, 2020. (Photo: Daniel Nee)

Toms River police said this week that the township’s curfew in the North Beach neighborhoods is having a positive effect on the community, just as Lavallette adopted a curfew of its own after a weekend of juvenile unrest.

“We have seen a consistent decrease in call volume to the area since the curfew and sincerely appreciate all those who have heeded the warnings and respect the curfew and their neighbors,” said police spokeswoman Jillian Messina.

On Tuesday night at about midnight, there were six cars in front of the Wawa, where hundreds of teens would gather on some nights, blocking entrances with bicycles and failing to practice social distancing as the state continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic. The entire North Beach section of the township, which includes all of the communities between the Lavallette and Brick portions of the barrier island, was quiet. At Wawa, a few customers were ordering late-night snacks, the entrances were clear and a single bicycle was chained to the rack outside. Just one person, a man in his 20s on a bicycle, was riding down Strickland Boulevard, with a fishing rod and tackle box attached.

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Dozens of teens gather in the North Beaches sections of Toms River over the July 4 weekend. (Facebook Photo)
Dozens of teens gather in the North Beaches sections of Toms River over the July 4 weekend. (Facebook Photo)

“Our officers are doing a lot to engage with the juveniles and educate them about the curfew as it is important they understand that there is an ordinance in effect,” Messina said.

Some residents of the Chadwick Island neighborhood contacted Shorebeat on Monday and said dozens of garbage cans had been knocked over in an apparent act of mischief. Messina said police did respond, but the responsible parties had left area by the time they arrived.

“We will continue to enforce the curfew and will be signing juvenile complaints as necessary,” she said.