Toms River officials will extend a youth curfew first enacted last summer through the 2021 summer season, the township’s police department announced Monday.
Toms River put the curfew into place after receiving a large number of complaints for more than two years about groups of unruly teens gathering in the streets, vandalizing property, littering and hurling insults at passersby. Most of the complaints originated in the North Beach neighborhoods and centered around the Normandy Beach Wawa store, which evolved into an evening gathering place for the groups.
Toms River’s curfew includes the North Beach neighborhoods – the Ocean Beaches, Normandy Beach, Chadwick Beach and adjacent communities – but not Ortley Beach. Juveniles under age 18 must not be unaccompanied after 10 p.m.
“We will be dedicating additional resources to address any potential issues,” police spokeswoman Jillian Messina said. “The Toms River Police Department is committed to protecting the residents of our community as well as their property and will not tolerate disrespectful or destructive behavior.”
The department is also urging parents of children in neighboring communities to refrain from dropping their children off into the North Beach area. A heightened police presence will be in effect “and there will be zero tolerance, for all offenses including motor vehicle infractions,” Messina said.
Last summer, after Toms River imposed the curfew, the groups moved to Lavallette, where there were reports of fights and unruly behavior. That led the borough to enact its own curfew, though it has not been announced whether or not it will be reinstated this summer.