Ocean Beach Sends Letter to Long Island School Districts


A copy of the Incorporated Village of Ocean Beach code, which can be found ecode360.com.

“We are writing to you in the hope that you can pass on some useful information to the large groups of unaccompanied 12- to 16-year-olds that have been enjoying our beach,” reads the opening statement of a letter jointly signed by Ocean Beach Police Chief George Hesse, Ocean Beach Village Mayor James Mallott, and Ocean Beach Association President Maria Silsdorf delivered to numerous school districts on Long Island earlier this month. It goes on to outline local village ordinances that most area residents are familiar with – but may not be familiar to the underage youths visiting in large groups from out of town in recent summers: No eating, ball playing, smoking, playing radio music, or drinking (alcoholic and non- alcoholic) beverages on the beach. As well as refraining from excessive noise on residential walks, the use of profanity and other codes of civility and a stern reminder shoplifting will be prosecuted.

“We want to bring these rules to your attention in an effort to stem a growing number of violations,” the letter continues. “This summer we have seen a larger than normal number of citations being given to our underage visitors by the Ocean Beach Police Department. And just to clarify, citations are not the first option, and are only written after repeated warnings. The Village of Ocean Beach would like to remind our visitors that any underage violation of our local laws requires a physical pick-up from a parent/guardian in Ocean Beach and a ticketed fine up to $500.”

While the signers of this letter did not answer our calls for comment on how many of these letters were delivered or which Long Island school districts were the recipients, an escalation of underage incidents documented on the police blotters Fire Island News has prepared over recent summers speaks volumes as to why this course of action was taken. How to approach this matter has been a reoccurring topic of discussion at public meetings in recent years.

The question is, will the message of the letter resonate? While this is still to be determined, a June 15 letter we obtained addressing to parents of St. Anthony’s High School in South Huntington, shows promise.

“Speak with your children about their behavior on Fire Island and throughout Long Island this summer and the way they represent a school that they dearly love.” writes High School Principal Brother David Anthony. “Thank you for your support in this matter.”