It was a tale of two weekends for sure.

We kicked off the holiday weekend with a live broadcast from the boardwalk in Seaside Heights with Mayor Tony Vaz and Seaside Park Mayor John Peterson along with veterans from across the services.

It was a fun and festive event balanced with a strong message supporting our veterans and honoring the sacrifice of the fallen heroes. The broadcast ended with a call from the mayors and me to the audience to head down the shore and visit the many small businesses ready for a prosperous summer season.

I headed out to hit another half dozen events through the holiday weekend. A few hours later chaos would erupt on two New Jersey boardwalks, including Seaside where a panic ensued after someone reported an "active shooter".

In Ocean City, a 15-year-old was stabbed during a series of unruly teen fights.

(phillychitchat via Instagram/Jersey Coast Emergency News via Facebook)
(phillychitchat via Instagram/Jersey Coast Emergency News via Facebook)

On Sunday, Wildwood Mayor Ernie Troiano proactively declared a state of emergency after the emergency dispatch was overwhelmed with calls about violence and unruly teens on the boardwalk. He shut down the boardwalk for the evening to make sure police had the manpower to deal with other emergencies.

The mayor joined me on the show to discuss his actions and discuss solutions.

Being a mayor in New Jersey under the current administration in Trenton is challenging to say the least. There are three main issues in effect all of which can be fixed by electing a smart, strong governor willing to step up to enforce the law and empower cops over criminals.

First, there is a shortage of police officers, especially the Class 2 officers which Jersey Shore towns rely on for the summer months. The mayor said that Wildwood typically relies on 30 to 50 Class 2 officers. This year, they only have 9.

We need to implement incentives for police recruiting, including pay and COLA for retired officers.

Second, the state needs to empower officers to do their job. Laws restricting police interaction with criminals need to favor aggressive action on the part of police officers. We cannot have cops restricted to the point where they can't address minors abusing alcohol and drugs in public.

And thirdly, we need to eliminate the crisis caused by the revolving door for criminals under the current so-called "bail reform" system. These are beyond political talking points. This is the kind of pro-law enforcement policy plan we need to implement sooner rather than later.

Getty Images
Getty Images

Our Jersey Shore communities and economy are counting on tough action to restore law and order. Let's get to work.

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Gallery Credit: Dino Flammia

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Spadea. Any opinions expressed are Bill's own.

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