Dear Residents and Business Owners of Dewey Beach,
As the Dewey Beach Police Department, we feel it is our responsibility to inform you about the challenges we faced during the recent Fourth of July weekend due to an influx of high school students, which led to increased illegal juvenile activity in our town. We write this letter to provide you with an understanding of the situation and our efforts to address it.
First and foremost, we want to express our gratitude for your continued support and cooperation in maintaining the safety and security of Dewey Beach. Our police department, consisting of ten dedicated officers, worked diligently to address the concerns arising from the surge in illegal juvenile activity. That activity included: fighting, underage consumption of alcohol and drugs, trespassing, and loitering.
The increase in juvenile activity during the Fourth of July weekend can be attributed to various factors, including Dewey Beach's popularity as a summer destination for young individuals seeking the beach, entertainment, and celebration. While we appreciate the energy and vibrancy these young visitors bring to our town, it is imperative that we strike a balance between enjoyment and adherence to our town's rules and regulations. We can confirm many arrests were made and every parent was notified.
We understand the frustration and inconvenience experienced by residents and business owners who were affected by the disruptive behavior. Despite our best efforts, the Dewey Beach Police Department alone was unable to address the overwhelming number of incidents. To mitigate this issue, we requested assistance from outside agencies; however, due to the magnitude of the overwhelming situation, our ability to respond comprehensively was limited.
As your police department, we are committed to working together with the community to find effective solutions. Here are the steps we are taking to address the challenges posed by the increase in juvenile activity:
- Enhanced Collaboration: We are actively engaging neighboring law enforcement agencies to establish partnerships and secure additional resources during peak periods. This collaborative effort will enable us to respond more effectively to incidents and provide a stronger presence in Dewey Beach.
- Parents: Parents should know where and what their teenager is doing between the hours of 9pm and 2am, We need parents to be aware and responsible for their teenager's actions and late-night activities.
- Increased Patrols: We are implementing an increased patrol strategy during busy times, focusing on areas where juvenile activity has been prevalent. By increasing our visibility, we aim to deter disruptive behavior and ensure the safety of residents, visitors, and businesses.
- Enforcing the Town Curfew Code for Minors: Anyone under the age of 18, and not coming or going from work, who is in any public space between 11pm to 5am the following day, or 12 midnight to 5am Friday and Saturday, will be in violation of the town's curfew code and may be issued a summons and fined $100.00.
- Enforcing the Town Underage Consumption of Alcohol Code: Anyone under the age of 21 consuming or possessing alcohol shall be issued a summons and fined $100.00.
- Outreach and Education: Recognizing the importance of proactive measures, we have worked closely with schools, parents' associations, and student organizations to educate young individuals about responsible behavior. By fostering a sense of accountability and respect within the younger generation, we hope to promote a positive environment in Dewey Beach.
- Community Involvement: We strongly encourage residents and business owners to report any incidents promptly and assist us in identifying those responsible for disruptive behavior. Your participation in neighborhood watch programs and your willingness to provide information are invaluable in maintaining a safe community.
We are committed to working tirelessly to ensure the safety and well-being of Dewey Beach. With your support and cooperation, we are confident that we can overcome the challenges posed by the increased juvenile activity and preserve the unique charm of our town.
Thank you for your understanding and patience as we navigate through these challenging times. Together, we can create a safe, secure, and enjoyable environment for all residents, visitors, and businesses in Dewey Beach.
Chief Constance Speake
Lieutenant Clifford Dempsey
Dewey Beach Police
105 Rodney Ave.
Dewey Beach, DE 19971