Attorney General, Wildwood Police At Odds Over Memorial Day Weekend Preparedness

The New Jersey Attorney General and Wildwood Police Department appear to be at odds over emergency preparedness following a chaotic Memorial Day Weekend.

The Cape May County Sheriff's Office patrols in Wildwood.

The Cape May County Sheriff's Office patrols in Wildwood.

Photo Credit: Cape May County Sheriff's Office

In a statement released on Saturday, June 1, the Wildwood Police Department said NJ Attorney General Matthew Platkin blamed the police department for the series of incidents that unfolded Memorial Day Weekend, in which rowdy teens prompted the closing of area boardwalks, according to various media outlets including NBC10 and the Press of Atlantic City.

Platkin alleged that Wildwood had insufficient police staffing on its "world-famous boardwalk" for the holiday weekend. 

"We were alarmed at such a statement from the chief law enforcement officer in the State of New Jersey especially knowing that he did not directly contact us to understand what resources were in place for the weekend," Wildwood police said.

"If an effort were made by the Attorney General to understand the situation in Wildwood, he would have been advised that the police department had in excess of forty (40) law enforcement officers assigned to our boardwalk on Sunday night of Memorial Day weekend alone - when the local state of emergency was declared."

Further, Wildwood police said its boardwalk has been staffed with more officers than it was in the past two years, bringing in backup from the county sheriff's office to increase numbers to over 30 uniformed officers on the boardwalk.

"The disheartening truth of the situation is the crowds we encountered this year were disobedient, volatile, and aggressive towards officers," police said. 

"At one point, our officers had firecrackers thrown at them while they were conducting crowd control measures. We even observed families fleeing the boardwalk to the beach and running for the security of the railing because hundreds of juveniles and young adults were stampeding down the boardwalk. 

"Even if we had additional officers above the thirty (30) deployed, there would have been minimal effect to quell this type of mob behavior."

A state of emergency was declared that weekend, allowing police to close the boardwalks and bring additional officers and law enforcement partners. 

Over the course of the holiday weekend, Wildwood police fielded 312 9-1-1 calls, responded to 1,517 calls for service, and made 47 arrests.

On Saturday, June 1, in Gloucester Township, nearly 500 volatile juveniles and young adults swarmed Gloucester Township Day, leading to 11 arrests, as reported by Daily Voice. All of those arrested were out-of-towners.

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