Chief Awards Police Commendations, Announce Promotions

OCEAN CITY – Those who risk their lives every day for the
residents and visitors of Ocean City alike were recognized for their continued
efforts Monday night during an open session of the Mayor and City Council.

On hand at the presentation was Ocean City Police Chief
Bernadette DiPino, who recognized both the department’s reserve and full-time
officers, as well as the promotions of several others.

DiPino began the ceremony by first recognizing the efforts
of 13 reserve officers who volunteered a total of 3,066 hours in the past year.

“This equates to a savings of $96,355 in savings to the
town of Ocean City,” she said. “Since 1999, the reserve officers have provided
29,593.75 hours of service which resulted in a savings of $977,366.25.”

Those officers included Lilly Andrews, Bob Borys, Emory
Brooks, Joann Brooks, Reid Gay, Ann Gough, Charles Judd, Sy Longberg, George
Mause, Dorothy C. Morse, Donald Olson, Wanda Olson and Tonja Sas.

One of the reserve officers, Sy Longberg, who has been
volunteering his time since 2000, was also recognized as the “Reserve Officer
of the Year” for the 606 volunteer hours he contributed in 2006.

Another reserve officer receiving special recognition was
Robert Borys for the administrative support he has provided to the Criminal
Investigation Division. DiPino awarded him the “Chief’s Excellence Award.”

Up next were the commendations for the department’s
full-time officers. First up was PFC Jeffrey Stutzel who received the “Silver
Star”, one of the OCPD’s highest commendations.

“On March 7, 2006, PFC Stutzel endangered his own life in
an effort to disarm a suicidal subject, “ DiPino said. “The subject’s life was
saved due to the actions of PFC Stutzel.”

Next were three “Meritorious Service Awards” given to
Officer Joseph Lotito, DFC Vicki Martin and CPL Doug Smith.

According to DiPino, Lotito earned his award after
providing “excellent investigative work” with a peeping tom incident back in
January of 2006 that resulted in the confession and arrest of a repeat
offender.

Martin’s award stemmed from detective work back in March
of 2006 that dealt with a drive-by shooting where the suspects fled out of
state. It was her continued efforts, DiPino said, that led to the arrest of the
shooter and his accomplices.

Lastly, having a career conviction rate greater than 95
percent, DiPino said Smith earned his Meritorious Service Award for his efforts
against drunk and drugged drivers.

Also awarded was the “Excellent Police Performance”
commendation to Sgt. Elton Harmon, PFC Edward Newcomb and Officer Frank Soscia.

“Sgt. Harmon and PFC Newcomb conducted a traffic stop
which lead to the arrest in a first-degree burglary involving numerous handguns
and other weapons,” DiPino said as she presented the two with their awards.

She went on to say Soscia earned his commendation for a
similar traffic stop that led to the recovery of a stolen vehicle and the
arrest in a first-degree burglary.

Last was a unit citation for the members of the OCPD’s
Narcotics Division whose work has surpassed that of years past, according to
DiPino.

“These dedicated and tireless law enforcement officers are
to be commended for their extraordinary commitment to fighting crime,” she
said. “Their efforts have resulted in more arrests, seizures of contraband and
assets forfeited than in past years.”

Following
the award ceremony, DiPino announced promotions. Achieving the rank of Private
First Class (PFC) was Kevin Flower, Jeffrey Johns, Nicholas Simpson, Todd
Speigle, Christopher Snyder, Jeffrey Stutzel and Charles Zukas. Achieving the
rank of Corporal was Douglas Smith, Frank Wrench, Dennis Eade and Sydney
Findley. 

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