Avalon officials hope to cut down on teen misbehavior - NBC40.net

Avalon officials hope to cut down on teen misbehavior

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AVALON -

Residents say a peaceful section of Avalon takes on a whole new life when dozen of teenagers hop on their bikes and hit the streets at night.

"Vandalism issues, property damage, some of these kids were going into garages that were standing open and taking alcohol out,” said Captain David McCallion with the Avalon Police Department.

According to police, cases of vandalism are up almost fifty percent since 2010. While the teen behavior is one concern, bicycle and motorist safety is another.

"We’re more concerned about it from a safety perspective,” said Avalon Borough Council President Dave Ellenberg.

“We see these kids running in and out of cars. They block up the streets where cars are running and can't seem to let them go through."

After trying to educate the teens on bike safety, police started issuing summonses, and now the borough will consider moving the curfew from midnight to 10pm.

"We’re trying to attack it in a few different ways,” said Captain McCallion.

“One, educate, two, enforce and hopefully in the long run we'll gain compliance."

Borough officials say the teens usually meet at Veterans Plaza in Avalon. From there, they ride their bikes down 21st Street to the boardwalk, causing trouble along the way according to residents.

"They yell, the scream, they curse," said resident Russell Hall.

"I started calling the police last summer when things started happening. Some nights this past summer I've called three or four times night."

As for the law–abiding teenagers of Avalon, some see new problem with a potential earlier curfew, while others think they are being punished for crimes they did not commit.

"I don't really take part in all of that stuff so I don't really stay out that late so it’s not really a big deal to me," said 13-year-old Hugh Quinn.

"Not everyone is doing it,” said 15-year-old Evan Kelly.

“I feel like they could do better by punishing the people that do stuff instead of moving up everyone's curfew."

Borough officials say they will discuss opening the recreation center next summer to give teens a place to go at night. While nothing has been officially decided yet, officials know something has to be done.

"We know one thing, we got to do something, and that is we will correct it," said Ellenberg.

Avalon officials say an advisory committee will look at the possibility of scheduling activities for kids next summer and local businesses could also be asked to sponsor events at the rec center.

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