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City of Wildwood Police Department Response to Erroneous Statements by Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin





JUNE 1, 2024



PRESS RELEASE


The City of Wildwood Police Department and Chief Joseph Murphy have been made aware of an inaccurate and ill-informed statement made by New Jersey Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin to numerous media sources. In his statement, the Attorney General reported that the City of Wildwood did not have sufficient police staffing on our world-famous boardwalk for Memorial Day weekend. This statement would lead the public to believe that police staffing was the cause of the issues the City of Wildwood experienced this past 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. 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.


The City of Wildwood Police Department would like to assure the public that the boardwalk was staffed with more uniformed police officers this year – over 30 – than that of the two previous years. The staffing levels of law enforcement for our boardwalk is developed after thoughtful analysis: examining of the previous year’s staffing posture, holiday weekends, special events, and current situational intelligence. Through this process we assessed that additional uniformed law enforcement personnel were needed for the 2024 Memorial Day weekend. Several months ago, we initiated a Shared Service Agreement with the Cape May County Sheriff’s Department to ensure those additional uniformed law enforcement personnel would be available to the City of Wildwood.


The additional staffing from the Cape May County Sheriff’s Department allowed us to place our staffing levels above thirty (30) uniformed officers on the boardwalk for the 2024 Memorial Day weekend. The disheartening truth of the situation is the crowds we encountered this year were disobedient, volatile, and aggressive towards officers. 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.


After Saturday’s public safety concerns, we were forced to modify our public safety plan to include the ability to declare the local state of emergency, thus giving us the authority to close the boardwalk temporarily and to stop the crowds from creating another public safety issue. Within the modification of the public safety plan, we also requested additional law enforcement officers from Cape May County law enforcement partners. These additional officers were deployed to the boardwalk on Sunday night, therefore, giving us in excess of forty (40) law enforcement officers.


After the 10:00 PM curfew our officers cleared the boardwalk of all juveniles issuing several thousand curb side warnings in accordance with the New Jersey Attorney General’s Directive 2020-12. Despite the enforcement of the juvenile curfew, a couple thousand of young adults remained on the boardwalk. Despite all efforts to maintain law and order, at 12:13 AM the City still began to reach a level of public safety concern. It was at this time that we determined that the local state of emergency declaration needed to be implemented.


With the execution of this declaration, we were able to quell a majority of the disorder on the boardwalk and the immediate street areas quickly and efficiently. Although this policing measure may seem extreme, this is the only course of action we have been left with to address these unruly and aggressive crowds of juveniles and young adults.


Through the course of the Memorial Day weekend the Wildwood Police Department handled three hundred and twelve (312) 9-1-1 calls, officers responded to one thousand five hundred and seventeen (1,517) calls for service, issued thousands of curb side warnings to juveniles, and we made forty-seven (47) arrests with more pending upon identification.


Chief Murphy would like to commend the men and women of the Wildwood Police Department along with the other law enforcement agencies in their performance this past Memorial Day weekend. Despite the difficult environment they are forced to police in, without hesitation, they placed themselves on the front lines to maintain law and order. We were fortunate to only have one officer injured during the weekend, and he should make a full recovery. We will continue to place public safety as the top priority for our department as we move into the summer season.

******************************************************************

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6 Comments


Sonja Ambro
Sonja Ambro
Jun 03

I bet that these Bad🍎Apples will start "FLASH MOBBING" (shoplifting in large groups) the local stores and Boardwalk shops in Wildwood, Seaside, etc. Local Police should put a deterrent in place to stop flash mobbing before it happens.

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Ruby BytheC
Ruby BytheC
Jun 03

I live here and was saddened to see this deplorable behavior by bands of kids against our local police. This is unacceptable. However, as a local resident I was also proud of how our local police handled this disturbing incident 👮🤗❤️

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jcimports
Jun 03
Replying to

Deplorable. Now there's a word we've all heard before. The "children of Democrat brainwashed adults and teachers descended upon Wildwood/"Trump country". Boardwalk Insurrection? Citizens of NJ; you're now one of the most expensive and least desirable places to live. Keep voting BLUE!

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jsvascular
Jun 03

How sad and unfortunate that our police officers must deal with such bad behavior. Thank you to all of them for their fine work.

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bresnanfam
Jun 02

We are grateful to Chief Murphy and our police officers for their bravery and courage especially during these trying times. Please know that we are thankful and support you 100./. 💙🖤💙

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noraarantbrennan
Jun 01

Bravo, Chief Murphy & Team! It’s disgusting that your efforts were disparaged by your so-called “leader”! Keep doing your great work. It is appreciated by locals, business owners and tourists alike!

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