OCEAN CITY – Retired law enforcement officers in the area are being sought to help beef up the Ocen City Police Department’s (OCPD) ranks to help with special events and other field and administrative duties.
The OCPD is seeking the assistance of retired law enforcement officers who are willing to volunteer. The department implemented a reserve officer program a decade ago to help fill in the ranks with trained citizen volunteers. This year, the OCPD is hoping to attract retired law enforcement officers who may be living in the area to fill out its ranks. According to the release, the OCPD is looking for retired law enforcement officers previously certified in Maryland who are living within 35 miles of Ocean City.
Typically, the reserve officer program’s volunteers aid the regular force during special events such as the Ocean City Air Show, Fourth of July events, Springfest, Sunfest and numerous parades and shows held in Ocean City each year. Reserve officers also help with several administrative duties within the department and other tasks that might otherwise take trained, full-time officers off the streets.
The reserve officer program also results in significant savings for the department, particularly during a time when they have been asked to tighten their belts. Last year, reserve officers contributed over 2,300 hours of volunteer service to the OCPD at an estimated savings of nearly $74,000.
The call for retired law enforcement officers to round out the OCPD’s civilian volunteer corps comes just one month after the Mayor and Council discussed cutting back on the number of seasonal officers for the coming season. The OCPD currently has 135 year-round employees including 107 sworn police officers and 28 civilian employees. Each year, the department hires a minimum of 100 season officers, as mandated by the state, but town officials earlier this year voted to send a letter to the local delegation in Annapolis asking for a bill that would allow the OCPD to reduce the number of seasonal officers it hires this summer from 100 to a figure more like 70.
OCPD officials have said the intent is to streamline the seasonal workforce and improve the efficiency of the department, but there is an economic side as well. One of the goals of reducing the number of seasonal officers this year is to cut down on the large amount of overtime for the department, particularly in the month of June, which came in at nearly $400,000 last year.