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As Ortley Repopulates, Police Offer Glimpse Into Reported Incidents

Section of the barrier island opened to some residents on Monday

As some residents moved back to their Ortley Beach properties this week, police offered a glimpse into the incident increases in the area in the months following superstorm Sandy.

Police dealt with 941 incidents from November 2012 through January 2013, up from 371 incidents during those months one year ago. Rescues, animal incidents, suspicious automobile reports, 911 hangups and "other" incidents all had increases, according to the data provided by the Toms River Police Department (see chart below).

The police statistics came as some residents were allowed back into Ortley over three months after Sandy struck. Mayor Thomas Kelaher said in a statement that he is "pleased" Gov. Chris Christie was able to lift the state of emergency for those Ortley residents who have had their utilities restored, allowing them to return home.

"I’m always glad to be able to announce that people can move back into their homes," he said. "Unfortunately the order does not apply to all homes because we can’t certify that all lots have the four necessary utilities working"

A map prepared by Toms River engineering officials shows that many properties closer to the ocean remain without utilities, which means those residents cannot return home, should their structures be habitable.

"The homes east of Route 35 in Ortley were the hardest hit, and many of those lots are missing either electric, gas, sewer or a combination of them," Kelaher said. "All homes have potable water.”

Kelaher said that the township is working with utility providers on a "daily basis" to complete electric and gas installation. JCP&L began replacing utility poles in the beginning of February, the company announced. But even when utilities are restored, returning home won't be an option for some.

"I’m sure everyone understands that there are certain areas of the Ortley oceanfront where homes were destroyed and knocked off their foundation, and that it will take considerable time to get the utilities back and functioning in those locations," Kelaher said.

The mayor said that Ocean Avenue, which was torn up by Sandy, must be reconstructed. From there, the township is looking ahead toward the months ahead. 

"We’re optimistic to have part of the beaches open for the summer season," he said.

Ortley Beach Police Incident Statistics, Year-to-Year Comparison



BE/
Theft Resc. Ani. Alarm Check MV
Stop Susp
Auto EMS Acc. 911 Other Ut. Total 12-13 Nov.  0 11 24 3 20 7 46 5 3 117 69 0 310 Dec. 5 0 0 8 51 23 35 6 0 206 60 0 394 Jan. 11 0 0 13 27 44 34 0 2 69 33 9 242 Totals 16 11 24 24 98 74 115 11 5 392 162 9 941 11-12 Nov. 9 0 0 11 72 31 4 11 3 3 18 3 165 Dec. 2 0 2 9 12 23 7 18 1 2 23 1 100 Jan.
13 0 0 12 11 19 7 6 2 6 25 5 106 Totals 24 0 2 32 95 73 18 35 6 11 66 9 371

911= 911 hang up calls
Ut. = Utility (water or gas) leaks
Check = Vacant home checks
Ani. = Animal incidents
Acc. = Accident incidents
Susp. Auto = Suspicious automobile incidents

Martin February 06, 2013 at 02:19 PM
Twice as many incidents, with an understaffed police dept. Good thinking, mayor and council: Hope you're enjoying the pet projects you bankrolled instead of public safety.
Michelle Blamble February 06, 2013 at 06:45 PM
Brick managed to rebuild a bridge in a week but Toms River can't even get 3rd Street repaved in 3 months. Between FEMA, and Toms River I think Ortley is doomed.
Av February 06, 2013 at 09:09 PM
Every cop I saw today was slouched and asleep in car. Good thing cause I tooling around with my cooler full of cold ones oh yeah baby!!!
1stcav February 06, 2013 at 11:06 PM
Inept=TR Gov'mt..Old & outdated GOP & the puppet strings are being stretched..Boss Hog has bigger dreams & cleanup $$$$$ to be made/found by no bid contracts..
Av February 06, 2013 at 11:36 PM
Oh man gotta pull over and pee again!! I gotta get me milk jug
Crafty1 February 09, 2013 at 04:39 AM
AV...you sound like an idiot. Drinking and driving...Grow up!!!

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