Murphy Hits Back Against ‘Soft on Crime’ Critics


The mayor of Avalon and his police chief explain the upsurge of bad behavior at the beach by pointing to laws backed by Governor Phil Murphy limiting police with regard to pot and alcohol. Murphy, essentially, is the reason young people are going a little whacko at the shore this season, they say, to paraphrase 101.5 FM David Matthau’s question to the governor at today’s briefing.

The criticism reaffirms former Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli’s (R-16) assertion that Murphy is soft on crime.

Murphy pushed back this afternoon.

“The factors are many,” said the Democratic governor, running for reelection in the November general.  “Why is there dislocation in the labor market? I am not of the opinion that there is any one reason for it. I would say the same thing about why people are behaving irresponsibly.

“There are a lot of reasons folks are misbehaving coming out of a pandemic,” Murphy added.

He ticked off some possible contributing factors.

“Hot as heck weather.”

The shore is booming.

A disconnect between the economy and the labor market.

“Public safety,” Murphy said. “We meet on this constantly.”

He addressed people directly.

“We understand you’ve been cooped up for 16 months – please behave responsibly,” said the governor.

Colonel Pat Callahan of the New Jersey State Police offered the following:

“Everyday it’s striking a balance between enforcement and making sure people have a good time. I was down at the shore and I saw nothing but responsible individuals. We can all have a good time coming out of this pandemic but let’s do it responsibly.”

Murphy was asked another question about the frustrations of those who have received COVID vaccinations having to endure the proximities of those who refuse to receive the vaccine.

“People are listening to garbage,” said Murphy, referring to those ingesting the ideological messages of media playing down the importance of the vaccine.

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