Senator: NJ still has no plan to save shore towns from pop-up parties
TRENTON – A state senator says a conference call held Friday by the attorney general Friday with mayors and police chiefs of towns along the Shore didn’t result in a coordinated plan to address pop-up parties.
Sen. Robert Singer, R-Ocean, said the state must do more to work with Shore leaders who are concerned that pop-up parties could damage public safety.
“The Jersey Shore has always been a welcoming place for visitors, but many small towns are not equipped to handle thousands of teenagers who suddenly pour off trains and flood their streets, boardwalks, and commercial districts for pop-up parties organized on social media,” Singer said.
The weekend before Memorial Day, around 5,000 teenagers and young adults descended on Pier Village in Long Branch. Eleven adults and four juveniles were arrested for fighting in the unruly crowd, which the police sought to quell using tactical gear and a flash-bang device.
“Most Shore towns looked at what happened in Long Branch and are hoping they’re not next, but hope isn’t a plan,” Singer said. “That’s why they’re looking for help and guidance from the Murphy administration that so far has not been forthcoming.”
Singer reiterated his call for the state to create a task force, which could include state, county and local law enforcement as well as NJ Transit, to prevent similar recurrences. He also wants a funding source to be identified to help pay for the cost of calling in extra police to respond to any pop-up parties.
“If we don’t work together, these pop-up parties will only become more frequent and more dangerous,” Singer said. “I can’t believe the Murphy administration wants that to happen, but it will if they continue to do nothing.”