POINT PLEASANT BEACH, NJ – The small seaside town of Point Pleasant, New Jersey has a long history of being one of the last family-friendly destinations at the Jersey Shore, but in 2020, that has changed. Point Pleasant has been home to protests, rallies, out of control beach parties and police Chief Joseph Michigan said things are bad out there.
A letter from Chief Michigan was read into the record detailing the devolution of respect for the town, its property and its police officers since beaches reopened earlier this summer.
Michigan said crime is up in the borough, reporting a nearly trip digit increase in violations and arrests this summer. Michigan said his officers are routinely called racists by visitors and simple violations are being met with provocation to create viral police videos, as have occurred frequently in the borough this summer.
The mayor and council announced a new ordinance to combat the rising tide of disrespect and unruliness. Mayor Paul Kinatra today blamed the borough’s past leadership for problems he and his police department are combatting today and said the 3-3 vote on the matter, in which his vote was the tiebreaker, represents a political division within the council body.
“I wanted to quickly address the sweeping new beach and boardwalk rules passed by the Council late last night,” said Kinatra. “First and foremost, these measures were taken to stem the tide of disrespect that has been left unchecked for the past 5 years or so. You can’t just wish problems away. And when things continue to get worse, action, not words, are all that will change the course. While it saddened me that some members of the Council chose to put special interest needs before those of the residents, I was incredibly encouraged by the steely resolve of Councilwomen Testa and Byrnes and Councilman Vitale.”
Coolers and music will be restricted on the beaches here and those beaches will now completely close each night at 7pm, with some exceptions.
“Last night we took control of the situation by limiting the size of coolers so that it’s harder to hide contraband. We established a legal minimum age for those who check coolers, so our children aren’t expected to search for substances they legally can’t touch. We banned loud, obnoxious music from being played by those who feel the need to selfishly bother everyone around them. We have limited the ability to gather on the beach after hours to stop the influx of people seeking to make their own parties and trashing our shoreline in the process. And finally, we’ve taken measures to ensure beach operators have some skin in the game when it comes to restricting public drug and alcohol usage,” Kinatra said. “People will still be able to walk the lateral shoreline. People will still be able to go down to the beach for fireworks night. Surfers, fishermen and divers will still be allowed to do their thing. Your usage of the beach will not see much difference. But those who come here to disrespect our town, our residents and our natural resources should take this as a clear message that we have the resolve to do whatever is necessary to stop you from your heinous behavior. This cannot and will not be allowed to continue.”