OCEAN CITY, N.J. (CBS) — The investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct involving members of the Ocean City Beach Patrol continues and the city is adding resources to make the beach a safer environment.
Ocean City Mayor Jay Gillian announced on Thursday that his aide, Michael Allegretto, will oversee the beach patrol’s operations and will hire an attorney to make sure the city’s policies are enforced. Allegretto will also work with an independent contractor to oversee the day-to-day operations of the patrol while the investigation is ongoing.READ MORE: 3 People Shot Inside Bar In Philadelphia's Holmesburg Section, Police Say
The Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office announced an investigation into the allegations after the Instagram account “OCBP_Predators” went viral in mid-April with more than 100 anonymous submissions detailing allegations of predatory sexual misconduct at the hands of lifeguards on the Ocean City Beach Patrol.
Several of the allegations came from those identifying as former Beach Patrol members who described sexual harassment on the job.
In response, Ocean City Mayor Jay Gillian said that he has directed the city’s fire chief to build on existing policies so that employees feel safe in coming forward, adding, “I want to continue to make sure all our city team members work in a safe environment.”READ MORE: Former Chester County Day Care, Preschool Director Arrested For Failing To Report Child Abuse, Prosecutors Say
The city added that it “has strict sexual harassment policies and procedures in place and acts immediately on every reported complaint.”
Some of the app-based allegations came from those claiming to have been minors when they were allegedly targeted on the beach or at parties hosted by much older guards.
Several submissions alleged sexual assault.
The Ocean City Beach Patrol referred to the city’s statement on the matter.MORE NEWS: Eagles Center Jason Kelce, Omicron, Dogecoin Among Most Mispronounced Words In 2021
Investigators urge anyone with information or who feel that they may have been victimized to contact the prosecutor’s office at 609-465-1135, report it anonymously through the Cape May County Sheriff’s Tip Line, or call Cape May County Crime Stoppers at 609-889-3597.