NJ police chiefs want parents more accountable for kids who are involved in civil disturbances

NJ Boardwalk by is licensed under Unsplash
JERSEY SHORE, NY - New Jersey beach towns are known for their tranquil settings, family-friendly activities, and boardwalks with endless games, rides, and prizes.

But lately, these shore towns have seen a sharp increase in civil disturbances that have left several teenagers with injuries, property damaged and police officers left to deal with it all.

The city of Wildwood, a premier New Jersey attraction, was forced to shut its boardwalk down after crowds of rowdy teens refused to disperse.

A panel of New Jersey state and local legislators and politicians, all Republicans, met recently to discuss ways to combat the disturbances. They ultimately want to hold the parents of unruly teens accountable for their children’s behavior.

They also blame the liberal Democrat Governor Murphy for supporting and enacting “soft on crime” juvenile justice reforms that led to a societal culture of disrespect for law and police officers and creating a “consequence-free” environment. For example, under the reforms, teenagers are not required to give police officers their names.

The intent is to prevent teenagers from building a criminal record. However, teenagers are taking advantage of the reforms in a manner inconsistent with what the liberal politicians had in mind. 

Numerous reports are received daily detailing the rampant underage alcohol use, drug use, and rowdy behavior such as fights and uncontrolled fireworks.

The solution starts with accountability, according to Michael Letts, an LEO expert and LEO advocate and founder of InVest USA, a nonprofit organization that issues free vests to first responders. 

“You've got to revert back in society to accountability. Everybody has to be held accountable for their actions, including children. But if children are not old enough to be held accountable, when the parents have to bear that accountability, the question becomes, what is the age cutoff?” Letts said.

“I think anything under the age cutoff, parents should be held accountable as well. I know that's a tough stance to take but we have to send the message nationally that whether you're an adult or a child, you are going to start being held accountable for your actions, and that includes the action of training your children. And if you're not doing that you better figure it out real quick somehow - how you're going to make that happen,” he added.

Many parents find it difficult to find the proper work-life balance and raise children. Especially in a blue state like New Jersey, which has the highest property taxes in America, parents are challenged. But it is possible.

“Reach out to local churches. There are other programs that can help you with that but you can’t ignore it and then think you're going to walk away from the actions and not be held accountable,” Letts said. 

One thing is certain, teens should not be allowed to cause civil disturbances, destroy property, or endanger the public in any way. A world without consequences will only lead to one thing – more problems. 

If it takes holding the parents more accountable for their children’s reckless behavior, then so be it. Anything other than accountability is doing a disservice to the children, the parents, and to society as a whole. 

To learn more about Michael Letts go to https://michaelletts.us/ and to learn more or donate to InVest USA, go to https://investusa.org/ 

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Writer Eddie Molina is a veteran with over 25 years of combined LEO/military service. He owns and operates the LEO apparel and accessory company www.BuyHeroStuff.com
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The opinions reflected in this article are not necessarily the opinions of LET
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