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Wildwood Police Chief Refutes NJ Attorney General’s Statement on MDW Staffing

Wildwood Police Chief Refutes NJ Attorney General’s Statement on MDW Staffing

Wildwood Police Chief Joseph Murphy and his department have responded to recent comments made by New Jersey Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin regarding police staffing on Wildwood’s famous boardwalk during Memorial Day weekend.

Murphy’s press release and comments were publicly posted on social media this past weekend.

Wildwood Police Chief Refutes NJ Attorney General's Statement on MDW Staffing

Wildwood Police Chief Refutes NJ Attorney General’s Statement on MDW Staffing

The Attorney General’s statement suggested that inadequate police staffing was to blame for the incidents that occurred, a claim that Wildwood PD strongly disputes.

Chief Murphy expressed alarm at the Attorney General’s comments, highlighting that Platkin did not reach out to the Wildwood Police Department for accurate information before making his statement.

Contrary to the Attorney General’s claims, Wildwood PD had assigned over 40 law enforcement officers to the boardwalk on Sunday night of Memorial Day weekend when a local state of emergency was declared.

Murphy assured the public that police presence on the boardwalk this year exceeded that of the past two years, with more than 30 officers patrolling the area.

The police department had analyzed previous years’ data, special events, and current intelligence to determine that additional officers were necessary for the 2024 Memorial Day weekend.

A Shared Service Agreement with the Cape May County Sheriff’s Department was initiated months in advance to ensure sufficient staffing.

Despite these measures, the crowds this year were particularly unruly. Officers faced aggressive behavior, including having firecrackers thrown at them.

The situation escalated to the point where families fled the boardwalk, seeking safety on the beach.

After public safety concerns arose on Saturday, the Wildwood Police modified their safety plan to include the ability to declare a local state of emergency.

This declaration allowed them to temporarily close the boardwalk to prevent further chaos.

Additional officers from Cape May County were deployed on Sunday night, bringing the total number of officers to over 40.

Also See: Cape May Higbee Beach Wildlife Restoration Project EXPLAINED

Even with these efforts, managing the crowd was challenging.

Officers enforced a 10:00 PM curfew, clearing the boardwalk of juveniles and issuing thousands of curbside warnings.

Despite this, a couple of thousand young adults remained, leading to a local state of emergency declaration at 12:13 AM to address the escalating situation.

Throughout the weekend, the Wildwood Police Department handled 312 emergency calls, responded to 1,517 service calls, issued thousands of warnings, and made 47 arrests, with more pending.

Chief Murphy commended the officers and supporting agencies for their dedication and bravery under difficult circumstances, noting that only one officer was injured and is expected to recover fully.

As Wildwood moves into the summer season, Chief Murphy emphasized that public safety remains the department’s top priority.

The Wildwood Video Archive wants to thank the amazing first responders that we have in all of our cities here on the island. They do a fantastic job in keeping us safe all year round.

Below is our recap of Memorial Day Weekend. Before you watch please subscribe as we try to hit 100,000 subscribers (only 6715 away)