Philadelphia/ Crime & Emergencies
AI Assisted Icon
Published on May 27, 2024
Wildwood, N.J. Lifts Emergency Boardwalk Ban in Time for Memorial Day Weekend Crowds after Preemptive Youth DisturbancesSource: Unsplash/ Jesse Gardner

WILDWOOD, N.J. — A state of emergency declaration that threw Wildwood's Memorial Day weekend into disarray was lifted by the police, just in time for the holiday crowds to return to the boardwalk. This drastic action followed a series of events involving large groups of young people that overwhelmed local law enforcement, according to FOX 10 Phoenix.

The boardwalk's emergency status, initiated as a precautionary response to "civil unrest threatening the public health, safety, and welfare" of the area, proved to be a decisive measure in quelling potential disturbances. Despite a business owner’s report of calm prior to the declaration, authorities opted to enforce the state of, emergency following a stabbing incident involving a teenager in nearby Ocean City, N.J, as per CBS News Philadelphia.

The Wildwood police found their resources stretched thin over the weekend. On one occasion, they were unable to respond promptly to calls for service, leading them to seek reinforcement from other agencies within Cape May County. "The decision to enact a disaster emergency was made out of an abundance of caution," detailed FOX 10 Phoenix.

"We had measures in place ahead of the Sunday night crowds so that the police department could take these preemptive actions should the need arise," Commissioner Mikulski of Wildwood's public safety remarked, "Unfortunately, the crowds necessitated the state of emergency to which our police department and other responding departments worked together to maintain order in the city," as stated in a release acquired by NBC Philadelphia. Notably, the Greater Wildwoods Tourism Improvement and Development Authority added that there were no major incidents reported, in spite of the urgency to control the gathered youth.

As the situation stabilized, the ban was rescinded and visitors could once again frequent the iconic boardwalk. In the meantime, other shore towns like North Wildwood are taking no chances, implementing curfews directed at unsupervised teens during the summer season to prevent similar disturbances.