Statement from Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni:

The arrival of the Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of summer.  Our shore towns will swell with visitors from across the region looking for the fun, sun and relaxation – a long-standing, time-honored tradition in Monmouth County!  Although we are all nostalgic for life ‘before’ COVID-19, please continue to be mindful of the restrictions that remain in place.

With many of the COVID-19 restrictions, it is a challenging time for business owners and patrons.  The Governor’s Executive Orders 107 and 142 provide guidance on permissible business operations.  Executive Order 107 allows ‘essential businesses’ to open, allowing patrons to enter the business premises with certain guidelines.  Executive Order 142 allows non-essential businesses to open with “curbside pickup” of pre-ordered items.  Business owners have likely have familiarized themselves with these restrictions on opening and operating.  To be sure, it is no easy task to comply given the limited earnings season for many county businesses.  I want to assure you that all of our law enforcement executives and officers in the community recognize the burden these changes have had on retail businesses, both operationally and as a result of lost income.  Many of us have family members who own or work for businesses that are directly impacted.

Business owners and citizens alike must all adhere to the framework of guidance and Executive Orders (EO’s), as set forth by Governor Murphy.  The EOs are laws that we must uphold.  I understand that people have differing opinions regarding these restrictions and Orders and as Americans we have Constitutional rights to express our opinions.  But our law enforcement officers are sworn to uphold these laws – even if they may personally not agree with them.  

Law enforcement officers across Monmouth County have been working on the front lines each and every day during this pandemic, regardless of the risk of COVID-19 contraction, because of their sworn duty to uphold the law and protect County citizens.  With that in mind, please remember that our first responders have a job to perform, and they will approach their mission devoid of prejudice and without second guessing the laws and rules created in response to the pandemic.

As a final note, I encourage everyone to remember the reason for this holiday weekend – to honor the sacrifices of the 1 million men and women who lost their lives in defense of our nation.  I believe we help honor their memory by respecting our system of laws during this unprecedented time.  Let’s all treat each other with respect and understand that our weariness and suffering with this virus are real and they affect everyone – whether by health, economics, or both.   When we stand and work together, we can achieve anything.

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