Connect with us


Summer in Lavallette Kicks Off With Police Calls, New Hirings, And a Million Gallons of Water

Lavallette Beach Patrol vehicle, Aug. 2023. (Photo: Shorebeat)

Lavallette Beach Patrol vehicle, Aug. 2023. (Photo: Shorebeat)

The unofficial start of summer may have brought its share of bad press to the Jersey Shore, with unruly teens taking over boardwalks and violent incidents and traffic accidents reported up and down the coast, however Lavallette officials on Monday began solidifying its summer workforce, which will include additional police officers and beach personnel.

First, the numbers. According to Mayor Walter LaCicero, Lavallette police responded to about 30 calls for service related to “unruly behavior,” though the borough largely avoided the scenes that played out in Wildwood, Ocean City, and – locally – Seaside Heights, where more than 90 arrests occurred over Memorial Day Weekend. Still, the borough saw several motor vehicle accidents, including a serious crash involving a motorcycle on Route 35.

Officials are predicting that the 2024 summer season could be among the biggest – and most crowded – in history.

Get Daily Island News Updates
Your email address:*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide

“The homes have gotten larger, there are a lot more vehicles on the road, and on holiday weekends we’re very crowded,” LaCicero said.

Lavallette, over the last several years, has taken a novel approach to gauging the number of people in town during both the summer and winter seasons: water usage. While usage has gone up year-round as more residents have permanently relocated to the borough and part-time residents retreat to their “summer home” year-round on occasion. But contrary to what is normally about 400,000 gallons of water per day used during the summer season, over Memorial Day weekend, water usage topped 1 million gallons per day.

Code enforcement inspectors in town wrote three violation notices to residents over the holiday weekend, though no court summonses were issued. Councilman Robert Lamb added that “one or two” businesses in the downtown corridor were the subject of complaints over outdoor garbage cans overflowing, and the issues will be brought to the attention of the business owners and corrected before the summer is thrust into full swing.

Staffing issues heading into the season has limited the hours that beach badges will be sold in the borough. Councilman David Finter said the beach office is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m . Beginning June 15th through Labor Day, the hours will expand to 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

The borough council also solidified its summer beach staff, with the governing body authorizing the hiring of 52 lifeguards, whose salaries will range from $16 per hour to $20.75 per hour, depending on experience. A total of 78 badge checkers will patrol the beaches this summer, earning salaries of $15 per hour, with a small number of experienced checkers earning $16 or $18 per hour. Likewise, the council approved Class I special police officer training for three candidates at the Ocean County Police Academy who will serve the borough this summer. Class I special officers have limited police powers and do not carry weapons.

The council also approved the purchase of a John Deere Gator utility vehicle for use by beach patrol at a cost of $23,000.

Click to comment