May 4, 2020
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and New Jersey State Police Superintendent Colonel Patrick J. Callahan today thanked and praised New Jersey residents for their overwhelming compliance with social distancing rules at newly opened parks and beaches this weekend.
Law enforcement in all 21 counties of New Jersey reported that, while there were challenges occasioned by the large crowds visiting many parks and beaches, there were no significant enforcement issues, and the re-opening of recreational areas came off largely without incident.
Police dealt with huge crowds at state, county, and local parks, which required the closure of some parks to additional visitors after they quickly reached capacity. In addition, some people had to be reminded that picnicking is not allowed under the emergency orders, and that, consistent with CDC guidelines to avoid the spread of COVID-19, team sports and the use of playgrounds are also prohibited.
Nonetheless, law enforcement reported that the vast majority of people were compliant with social distancing rules, once they were told what they could and could not do.
“After a month of staying at home, it was no surprise that families needed some fun in the sun and quickly filled parks to capacity, creating challenges for law enforcement,” said Attorney General Grewal. “What is heartening is the overwhelming degree of compliance reported by police, who found people social distancing and needing only gentle reminders to fold up their picnic blanket or keep their children off of beckoning swings and slides. People kept safety in mind this weekend, and I encourage everyone to keep up the great work so that we continue on this road to recovery.”
“New Jersey residents continue to serve as a national model for best social distancing practices, and that could not have been more apparent than this past weekend when the vast majority of our residents enjoyed our state parks and beaches responsibly,” said Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “The very reason we have been able to begin reopening is because our citizens have chosen to put the greater good of the public first, but the only way we will be able to keep moving forward is if we continue to stay the course.”