Dennis Selectmen Reviewing Beach Policies after July 4th Incident

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SOUTH DENNIS –Dennis Selectmen are reviewing their beach policies after speaking with police and beach management in response to an incident on July 4th at Mayflower Beach.

Police arrested five teenagers for allegedly engaging in sexual activity in the water and being intoxicated.

The incident brought national media attention to the town, as a video of the event was on social media, showing some onlookers watching in disbelief and others cheering them on.

Selectmen have decided to create a committee of residents, police and members of the beach department to discuss solutions to problems at the town’s popular summer destinations.

“This matter was very upsetting for many including myself and other town officials,” said Dennis Police Chief Peter DiMatteo. “The town works very hard to create and maintain a family-friendly atmosphere at our beaches. What occurred was totally unacceptable.”

The teens, who are between the ages of 18 and 19, appeared last week in Orleans District Court and will participate in a Youthful Diversion Program.

It’s a tipping point for some residents, who believe that area beaches have been getting too rowdy and problems have been mounting.

They pointed to drug use, traffic congestion and underage drinking as some of the many issues at the town’s beaches.

“I’m so embarrassed as a property owner,” said resident Wendy Thurmond. “We made international news and I don’t think it was a one-time incident. This has been going on for so long. Hands down, you have to go full court press on this and combat this and get rid of this image.”

Police have stepped up their presence on the beaches after the incident, with many checking coolers and bags for alcohol, which is prohibited.

“We had all hands-on deck,” said Dustin Pineau with the beach department. “Everybody was working for the entire weekend and we did stand there from 8 o’clock in the morning till 3:30 in the afternoon at every entrance to get onto the beach and searched every single cooler and every bag.”

By JUSTIN SAUNDERS, CapeCod.com Newscenter

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