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Police enforce mandatory dress code along New Jersey boardwalk

Published: June 7, 2014
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Wildwood Boardwalk.  (Source: Greater Wildwoods Tourism Authority)

Wildwood Boardwalk. (Source: Greater Wildwoods Tourism Authority)

WILDWOOD, NJ — People who do not dress in a manner that is deemed acceptable by the government are subject to penalties in this New Jersey shore resort town.

According to the government, people must cover their feet, must must wear shirts after 8:00 p.m., and must never allow their pants to sag 3 inches below their waistline, while walking on the popular Wildwood Boardwalk.

Fashion cops are prepared to stop pedestrians and issue them tickets for inappropriate or incorrectly worn clothing.  Penalties include fines ranging from $25 to $200.  Violators may also be sentenced to up to 40 hours of community service.

Mayor Ernest Troiano, Jr., defended the dress code, saying that it adds  “a little bit of decency to our town.”

The boardwalk provides access to the beach and numerous tourist attractions, and it is common for people to wear beach attire.  This is the second summer the law has been in effect.

Other New Jersey towns also empower police officers to enforce morality and modesty upon pedestrians.

Cape May, NJ, requires “No person, either male or female, shall be attired in a bathing suit, trunks or other than usual dress on any public street or in any public place, after 7:00 p.m. and prior to 7:00 a.m. With reference to the boardwalk or promenade, usual dress includes appropriate footwear.”

In Ocean City, NJ, the law states, “It shall be unlawful for any person to travel in or upon any of the streets, alleys, or public boardwalk of the City in abbreviated bathing robes, suits or other costumes of a similar nature unless a suitable robe or covering from the shoulders to the knees shall be worn over the abbreviated robes or suits, to properly cover the person from the public view.”

Such efforts to dictate attire perfectly exemplify the Nanny State mentality.  While other people’s habits and fashions may annoy us, freedom-loving people should never turn to the government to dictate personal choices that harm no one.  Police are not our parents.

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