New Jersey beach town sets measures aimed to 'stop gatherings of drunken teens'

A New Jersey shore town is aiming to crackdown on groups of "drunken teens" following a Memorial Day weekend during which local police responded to nearly 1,000 incidents.

All beaches in Ocean City will now close at 8 p.m. and backpacks will not be permitted on the beaches or boardwalks starting at 8 p.m. The curfew for juveniles has also been moved up from 1 a.m. to 11 p.m., and boardwalk bathrooms will close at 10 p.m. 

Ocean City Mayor Jay Gillian signed off on both measures following a chaotic holiday weekend at the local beaches and boardwalks. Police were called to 999 incidents - an increase of 869 from last Memorial Day - that involved underage drinking, vandalism, assault, and shoplifting. 

At least one firearm was taken by police on Memorial Day weekend, according to a press release. Some teens, official say, needed medical attention after they drank to the point of unconsciousness.

"I understand that these new directives will affect many people who are not teens, but it’s important that we stop this type of behavior now," Gillian said. "In the end, protecting our reputation as ‘America’s Greatest Family Resort’ will benefit everybody in Ocean City."

The new rules will be part of a citywide plan that will include police staffing, more announcements on the boardwalk and a public awareness campaign.