It’s nearly summer and that means New Jersey’s famed boardwalk is beginning to fill up with families. However, one Jersey police force has a curious message for parents.
Th police in the shore-town of Wildwood are urging parents to refrain from using area police as a “boogeyman” of sorts. Parents often use the threat of incarceration as an easy way to get their kids to stop misbehaving.
Wildwood law enforcement officials are fed up with the practice, even going as far as planting these signs throughout the boardwalk:
The signs read:
“Parents: Please stop telling your children that we will haul them off to jail if they are bad.”
“We want them to run TO us if they are scared… NOT be scared of US!”
The idea is that if children are scared of police, they will hesitate to approach an officer if they’re in actual trouble.
Wildwood police chief Robert Regalbuto discussed the signs with ABC 6:
“We don’t want children to be fearful of police officers. We want them to know that police officers are their friends and are there to help them,” he said.
The signs also feature contact information to help reach a police officer. Regalbuto added:
“We are trying to make the environment safer for residents, visitors and children.”
“It’s a very large area with bells, whistles and lights that attract children, so they’re not paying attention. If we can give kids, mom and dad a little bit more information, it’s a good thing.”
Currently, as many as 30 officers patrol the two-mile long boardwalk on any given day.