OCEAN CITY, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Ocean City is the latest shore town to curb youth gatherings with new laws.
Now no one will be allowed on beaches after 8 p.m. and the curfew for juveniles is now 11 p.m. from 1 a.m.
Ocean City officials said the emergency order is in response to large unruly youth gatherings, vandalism and underage drinking that created havoc this past Memorial Day weekend and last summer.
The mayor and city officials wouldn't comment on the new measures Wednesday, but they will hold a press conference about the new policies on Thursday.
Residents have mixed feelings.
"I agree with it. I really do," said Anne Marie DelRiego of Voorhees, NJ. "The beaches will be safe and I think kids get away with too much these today."
David DiGioa agreed.
"We were happy to hear it. We think it's gotten out of control with the kids on the beach and boardwalk partying," he said.
But Kevin Peacock said a small fraction of kids are spoiling summer fun for all.
"I don't know why you take the fun away from the people who have a good time responsibly for a few bad apples," said Peacock.
Sea Isle City put new measures in place and also adopted a backpack ban and a 10 p.m. curfew in March.
And earlier this month, Wildwood banned any kind of alcohol on the beach, open or not.
"Even if it's not open, they don't have to ask who it belongs to, they can basically write a ticket to everyone there," said Mayor Pete Byron.
The municipalities said the new crackdown is largely due to juvenile justice reform spearheaded by Governor Phil Murphy and the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, which set limits on police interaction with teens and youth, especially for alcohol and marijuana use.
The reform called for more warnings and limited searches of backpacks.
Juvenile advocates said the changes provided more protections for those under 21 and prevented unnecessary entrance into the criminal justice system.
"Sometimes laws are put into effect without thinking of the cascade effect they can have," added Byron.
Officials in Ocean City will hold an emergency city council session at 1 p.m. on June 1 to amend existing laws before the weekend. A press conference is scheduled for 3 p.m.