Mayor Mo Hill Just Used the COVID-19 Pandemic to Issue 9 P.M. Curfew in Beach Towns

Seagulls stand on the beach in Seaside Heights New Jersey

TOMS RIVER, NJ – Toms River Mayor Maurice “Mo” Hill and the Office of Emergency Management just used COVID-19’s pandemic emergency declaration to set a 9pm curfew for minors in the town’s shore communities.

Hill and the township said teens are not social distancing and not wearing face coverings.

“Between early June and early July, 2020, the Toms River Police Department has received a dramatic increase in juvenile complaints in the North Beach area of town. Residents have reported increasing problems with unruly juveniles congregating nightly in violation of the social distancing and face mask restrictions imposed by the governor’s executive order, and also committing acts of criminal mischief and other disorderly behavior,” the town said. “These acts threaten the public health, safety, and welfare of the affected the communities. While we understand these are difficult times and children are frustrated with the lack of open activities, it is not an excuse for misbehavior and disrespect within our community.”

Mo said he will be locking teenagers indoors if unsupervised during the nighttime hours of 9 pm to 5 am.

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“We are committed to the safety of all of our residents. Together the Toms River Police Department, Office of Emergency Management, and other Township officials have determined that these incidents warrant the imposition of a limited curfew in the North Beach area upon juveniles,” Mayor Hill’s office said through a paid public information officer.  “Effective immediately, all persons 17 years of age and under are prohibited to be upon a public street, avenue, boulevard, place, walkway, alley, park, or any public area or unimproved private property located in the North Beach area of the Township between 9:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m., unless accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. The North Beach area includes, but is not limited to, Silver Beach, Monterey, Normandy, Chadwick, and Ocean Beaches 1, 2, and 3.

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Luckily for Toms River’s teens, a law proposed by New Jersey Assemblyman Gregory P. McGuckin never saw the light of day.  McGuckin’s bill proposed $15,000 fines for people who violated Phil Murphy’s COVID-19 executive orders.  That bill never made it out of its committee before being abandoned by McGuckin.

“There must be a stronger penalty for violating the social distancing orders during this outbreak,” said Assemblyman McGuckin said earlier this year “The strong financial penalties that would be imposed by our legislation should discourage people from hosting gatherings in violation of the prohibition during this crisis.”

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