Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced today that the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office has investigated several citizen complaints alleging that children from the northern Ocean County area were being picked up and/or dropped off – to or from school – in violation of Governor Phil Murphy’s Executive Order No. 104. Executive Order No. 104 closed all public, private and parochial preschool programs, elementary and secondary schools, including charter and renaissance schools as of March 18, 2020.
Specifically, several individuals contacted the Lakewood Township Police Department, Toms River Police Department and the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office after March 18, 2020 alleging that children were being picked up and/or dropped off by various school buses in northern Ocean County.
Subsequent investigation revealed that approximately 85 different buses from 4 bus companies – Jay’s Bus Service, Masoras Avos Bus Service, Semon Tov Bus Service and Harnett Bus Service – were being utilized to deliver food to various residences in Lakewood, Toms River, Brick and Jackson, where residents were attempting to follow the Governor’s stay at home orders. Some drivers of these buses were accompanied by children who were helping make these deliveries.
To avoid further confusion, we have encouraged that any school buses being utilized for food distribution be adorned with proper signage indicating as much. We likewise advise that children not participate in these food deliveries.