OCEAN CITY, New Jersey (WPVI) -- It's been a month since Ocean City, New Jersey enacted a curfew for teenagers.
Officials are touting its early success, pointing to a more than 58% reduction in teen citations in 2023 as compared to this time last year.
Last month, city council in Ocean City passed ordinances that issued an 11 p.m. curfew for kids younger than 18, banned backpacks on the boardwalk after 8 p.m., and shut the beach down at 8 p.m.
At the time, city officials said it was a response to large, unruly gatherings of teenagers on Memorial Day Weekend, resulting in thousands of "curbside warnings" for underage drinking and other minor offenses.
Now, one month after the ordinances took effect, residents and business owners say they've noticed a difference in teen behavior.
"It was safe and it was fun and it was a great place to grow up," said Sandy Colio, who grew up in Ocean City and manages Prep's Pizza and Dairy Bar on the boardwalk.
As the beach and boardwalk were jam-packed with vacationers Tuesday, she said it was the type of crowd she's excited to see.
"It did actually work," Colio said of the rule changes. "And we don't have the problems we did before."
She said before the changes, she had to double as a security guard at her store as throngs of unruly teenagers would come in at once.
She does say, however, she was skeptical of the changes at first.
"I just assumed they would all be on the boardwalk at 8 o'clock causing more problems because they weren't allowed on the beach anymore," said Colio.
Instead, she says teenagers are behaving, and data from the police department backs that up.
The city says by this time in 2022, police had issued nearly 17,000 curbside warnings to juveniles for underage drinking and other minor offenses. So far this year, police have issued about 7,000.
"The ruckus that ensued over Memorial Day weekend and weekends prior to that is, I'm going to tell you, pretty much non-existent at this point," said Jody Levchuk, a city councilman and co-owner of Jilly's.
Vacationers say they've noticed the difference since the curfew took effect.
"A lot of police activity. They're around and everything, which makes it safer," said Lynette Scurry from Norristown.
"It gets too late. It comes to a point where you just need to go to bed," said 19-year-old Alivia Brophy, who was on vacation from Connecticut.
She says she understands the rule change, however, her younger sister wishes the curfew was a bit later.
"I feel like for the people that would want to stay out later, I feel like they should push it a little more," said Calli Brophy.