Wildwood state of emergency sparked by crowds of 'unruly, unparented children,' mayor says

Police in Wildwood took action to keep residents and visitors safe after a Memorial Day weekend filled with chaos and some violence caused unrest along the Jersey Shore.

A state of emergency was declared in Wildwood early Monday morning after police say an "irrepressible" number of calls involving an "extremely large number of young adults and juveniles" overwhelmed the department.

At one point Saturday evening, Wildwood police were unable to respond to certain calls in the city and had to request aid from multiple agencies in Cape May County.

The decision to enact a disaster emergency was made out of an abundance of caution due to "emergent conditions that have resulted from civil unrest threatening the public health, safety, and welfare of our residents and visitors."

The boardwalk was closed for several hours when the situation started to deteriorate again, allowing police to address numerous incidents. It was reopened later Monday morning.


"While the actions taken by the City and this agency may have caused some inconvenience, these measures were necessary to ensure public safety and maintain law and order within our jurisdiction," police said.

Mayor Ernie Troiano expressed his support for the police's actions to protect the community in a statement:

"Wildwood will not tolerate unruly, undisciplined, unparented children nor will we stand by while the laws of the state tie the hands of the police. We wholeheartedly support the City of Wildwood Police Department in protecting this community from these nuisance crowds on our boardwalk and in the city."

The chaos in Wildwood comes after large crowds of teenagers caused even more mayhem a few towns over in Ocean City, which ended with a teen being stabbed and several arrests.