Beach Haven Councilman Calling for Tighter Curfews

Jul 11, 2018

If a Beach Haven councilman has his way, groups of youths won’t be able to hang out on beaches after 9 p.m. starting next summer. At the July 9 council meeting, Jim White urged that such an ordinance be drawn up.

“But it should contain language giving police officers discretion as how this ordinance is enforced,” said White. “The language should be constructed by the (borough) attorney and the police.”

For example, he said the ordinance would not affect people fishing or taking a stroll at night.

He said that 9 p.m. curfew would be consistent with the closing times at borough parks. White said that on a recent Saturday, he was monitoring crowds with Police Chief James Markoski.

“We observed large groups of youths at Butler Park (a facility near the Taylor Avenue bayfront),” said White. “Due to park closures at 9 p.m., patrol officers started to disband the crowd and close the park. As the crowd exited the park, small groups were moving toward the beach area. The chief told the group to disband and they did so without incident or rancor. We drove up and down street ends observing little or no group activity.”

However, when later driving up to the beach at Taylor Avenue, White and Markoski encountered two officers riding a beach patrol vehicle, shining a bright light and monitoring a group of approximately 50 to 60 young people who were standing on the beach.

“We did not observe any bad behavior,” said White.

But he said there should be measures in place to discourage such activities, noting that some homeowners may feel uncomfortable seeing large throngs of youths hanging out.

“When a youth is taken into custody, it requires two officers to tend to the youth in the station house,” he said. “One arrest equals two less officers on patrol. Two arrests and you have two more officers off patrol. I feel another solution should be pursued.”

He also said the borough is below its usual complement of 10 to 12 summer officers.

“It is a lot to ask of our police to do a job and not provide the proper tools to accomplish our town’s goals,” White said. “I strongly urge this sitting council to remedy this shortfall forthwith by any means necessary.”

White also suggested lowering the curfew hour for juveniles to 11 p.m. from the current midnight.

“The chief agrees with this recommendation,” he said. “These efforts may change the attraction of congregating in Beach Haven. We will stay focused on this problem and hopefully bring it to a successful conclusion.”

During the public portion of the meeting, Howard Brecher, the owner of the Coconuts and Tropics businesses in the borough, said lowering the curfew would adversely affect youngsters with night-time jobs.

Resident David Ollivier said he saw no problem with the youngsters hanging out at the beach at night, noting, “I used to do that a lot when I was a kid.

“I don’t see any reason for a curfew if they’re not bothering anyone,” he said.

Markoski could not be reached for comment.

— Eric Englund

ericenglund@thesandpaper.net

Comments (1)
Posted by: Maureen Delany | Jul 13, 2018 11:23

“We did not observe any bad behavior,” said White.

But he said there should be measures in place to discourage such activities, noting that some homeowners may feel uncomfortable seeing large throngs of youths hanging out.

I've been going to LBI for vacations close to 50 years now.  Now I bring my grandkids.  It's the kind of thinking above that makes people not want to go there anymore.  LBI is not an adult community.  Homeowners only own their little piece of heaven; not the beaches. Stop being so afraid of kids, teens, "outsiders".  Families come there for the same reason you bought a home there......it's a nice place to vacation.



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