UPDATE: The City of Wildwood has issued a press release regarding the civil unrest in the city late Sunday night and early Monday morning.

In part, it says,

The City of Wildwood Police Department began to respond to an irrepressible number of calls for service in the City of Wildwood on the evening of Saturday, May 25, 2024. Most of these calls were related to the extremely large number of young adults and juveniles that were in the city for the Memorial Day weekend. At the peak of this civil unrest, mutual aid requests were sent out to multiple agencies in Cape May County.

On May 26, 2024, out of an abundance of caution, Chief Joseph Murphy advised the city commissioners along with the Emergency Management Coordinator for the City of Wildwood that emergent conditions existed due to civil unrest threatening the public health, safety, and welfare of our residents and visitors alike.

Due to this advisement, a local disaster emergency was declared in the early morning hours of May 27, 2024, when conditions again began to deteriorate despite the presence and efforts of local police officers and multiple mutual aid law enforcement agencies.

Mayor of Wildwood Speaks

Mayor Ernie Troiano, Jr., said in that release,

Wildwood will not tolerate unruly, undisciplined, unparented children nor will we stand by while the laws of the state tie the hands of the police. We wholeheartedly support the City of Wildwood Police Department in protecting this community from these nuisance crowds on our boardwalk and in the city.

Our original report continues below.


Things got so out of control late Sunday night into early Monday morning in one South Jersey shore community that a state of emergency was declared so police could deal with widespread problems.

Wildwood, NJ, Declares State of Emergency

At around 12:15 early Monday morning, Wildwood police abruptly closed their city's boardwalk and issued the following statement:

Out of an abundance of caution due to emergent conditions that have resulted from civil unrest threatening the public health, safety, and welfare of our residents and visitors alike, the City of Wildwood has declared a state of emergency in order to maintain law and order within our jurisdiction.

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That state of emergency order was lifted at 6 AM Monday and authorities updated residents with this message:

Through the enactment of a state of emergency ... the City of Wildwood was able to effectively address numerous incidents of civil unrest and ensure the safety and welfare of our residents and visitors. While the actions taken by the City and this agency may have caused some inconvenience, these measures were necessary to ensure public safety and maintain law and order within our jurisdiction.

Wildwood police have not released specific details as to what prompted them to enact such a high-level response.

Violent Memorial Day Weekend at the Jersey Shore

Don P. Hurley
Don P. Hurley
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The actions in Wildwood followed a violent Memorial Day weekend up and down the Jersey Shore, including a teenager being stabbed on the Ocean City boardwalk, an 11-year-old boy being shot in Atlantic City, a brawl inside of a Wawa in Pleasantville, and unfounded rumors of a shooting on the boardwalk in Seaside Heights.

This is a developing story that will be updated when more information becomes available.

20 things that shock people after they move to South Jersey

Gallery Credit: Chris Coleman

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