With a shortage of seasonal police officers amid the coronavirus pandemic, officials at a Jersey Shore town are offering full occupancy for motels who help cut down on the influx of teenagers during the summer season.
Several high school students and other young people are beginning to arrive at Seaside Heights at the start of the summer season.
“It’s just what to do,” C.J. Tartineo of Staten Island, New York, told NBC10. “Everyone does it every year. It’s a trend, you know?”
This year however, Seaside Heights is working to cut down on potential problems often fueled by underage drinking while also dealing with a temporary shortage of seasonal police officers due to training academies shutting down amid the pandemic.
“We kind of had to take some steps to make sure we were able to control it,” Seaside Heights Borough Administrator Christopher Vaz said.
From now until June 29, maximum occupancy at motels and other short-term rentals in Seaside Heights is limited to 50 percent under the overall reopening plan, with 100 percent being allowed on June 30. Until then however, Seaside Heights officials offered motels an incentive.
“We put it out there and said, ‘Hey, you can shoot right up to 100% occupancy if you’re willing to forego your prom and graduation rental season,’” Vaz told NBC10.
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So far however, no motels have accepted the offer.
“We’re not getting 50, 60, 70-year-old people,” Jeff Capotorto, manager of the Four Winds Motel, said. “They’re just not here.”
Motel managers and owners said there’s not enough other business at the moment to turn away a younger crowd.
“We’re taking it as it comes and as it comes is high school kids,” Capotorto said.
Officials told NBC10 the younger people who were in Seaside Heights over the weekend were generally well-behaved.
“There’s no problems,” Justin Miccio of Staten Island told NBC10. “We’re not trying to cause any ruckus.”
The seasonal police officers are expected to arrive in Seaside Heights by the end of June.