Seaside Heights Police Assure Protection in the wake of the Swatting Uptick
The increase in fake threats at malls and schools statewide has Ocean County authorities assuring the public the Seaside Heights boardwalk is well protected.
The resort community has been serving as a training ground for the Ocean County Sheriff's Department, according to Seaside Heights Police Chief Thomas Boyd.
"They've picked out a couple of different motels where they come in with other area units and have gone through the motels just to double check everything in case we do get a call, the units are familiar with Seaside and what goes on with the motels," said Chief Boyd.
In addition, K-9 officers and dogs specially trained in bomb sniffing have been part of the training exercises every weekend in Seaside, patrolling Casino Pier and underneath the boardwalk.
"What we're trying to do is just get out in front of these swatting incidents, which are actually a terrible waste of time, energy and manpower," Boyd said.
Although Seaside's police officers go through training automatically, Boyd pointed out the Borough doesn't have specialists with dogs to patrol, so they rely on the Sheriff's Department. He said the training exercises by the Sheriff's Department will continue through summer.
Boyd said his department has about 45 police officers year-round, but adds between 80 and 100 during the summer.
"We have more than enough police officers, and security, and undercover. And we do have a very large contingent of undercover," Boyd added.
Boyd advises anyone who notices something or someone out of the ordinary to immediately call 9-1-1.
Extra patrols were put in Seaside for the Memorial Day holiday last weekend, including units from the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office, the Sheriff's Department and the New Jersey State Police.