Don't bother to "send in the clowns."  Rumors to the contrary, creepy clowns have not invaded Toms River, but the calls to police and schools forces the township's top cop to take some action.


Ever since a fully-costumed clown was spotted strolling through Green Bay, Wisconsin in the middle of the night with a fistful of black balloons, reports all over the country lit up social media, and it's reached the Garden State.

Toms River police, monitoring social media posts and threats, suggest that they are originating outside New Jersey, carried in through retweets and Facebook posts. But no sightings have surfaced here, nor have there been school closures or early dismissals.

That doesn't mean that Police Chief Mitch Little is laughing off the clown. He's directed officers to maintain high visibility at all schools in the district.

Meanwhile, Superintendent David Healy is reinforcing the district's safety procedures, which include a ban on unauthorized visitors, immediate contact with police in the event of a breach, and parental notification of schedule interruptions or changes.

Police ask you to refrain from calling their headquarters, or schools, to discuss it.

"We take the safety of your children very seriously," said police spokesman Ralph Stocco, "and will continue to monitor all locations while remaining in communication with the school system."

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