The Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office is investigating allegations of sexual harassment from members of the Ocean City Beach Patrol.
The allegations were made from a new Instagram account, @ocbp_predators. In the description of the account, the owner asks users to privately message them about their experiences so they can be anonymously shared with the public.
As of Friday afternoon, the page had more than 100 posts of users detailing incidents of sexual harassment and assault during their time in or around the Beach Patrol. The posts appear solely as text, presumably copied from the messages received with names blocked out. The account had grown to more than 3,000 followers within two days.
City spokesperson Doug Bergen said the city was made aware of the account when it was created Wednesday. Bergen said the city has “strict sexual harassment policies and procedures in place and acts immediately on every complaint.”
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Additionally, Mayor Jay Gillian has directed fire Chief Jim Smith to “build on existing policies and do whatever it takes to ensure employees feel safe coming forward.”
“I want to continue to make sure all our city team members work in a safe environment,” Gillian said.
Attempts were made to contact the administrator of the Instagram account, the Prosecutor’s Office and the Beach Patrol.
Investigators urge anyone with information or who has been a victim to contact the Prosecutor’s Office at 609-465-1135, report it anonymously through the Cape May County Sheriff’s Tip Line at cmcsheriff.net (click on “anonymous tip”), or call Cape May County Crime Stoppers at 609-889-3597.
Contact Ahmad Austin: