OCEAN CITY — The Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) this week announced several officers have been recognized with commendations for their actions during several serious incidents and arrests throughout 2012.
Each year, the OCPD meets to review the performance of its sworn personnel along with its civilian personnel and issues commendations and recognitions. This week, several officers were recognized for their actions in 2012.
Sgt. Dennis Eade was recognized with a Silver Star, awarded to any member of the OCPD who distinguishes himself or herself at the risk of their own lives. On Sept. 2, several citizens advised the OCPD of a fire in the rear of a crowded nightclub in the 18th Street area. When officers arrived at the rear of the establishment, they observed flames as high as 20 feet engulfing the business.
Eade was on the scene and directed other officers to retrieve any available fire extinguishers from their police vehicles. Eade then rushed toward the flames, which were then adjacent to several flammable carbon monoxide canisters. He was able to bring the fire under control with a fire extinguisher until Ocean City Fire personnel arrived on the scene.
Corporal Charles Kelley was awarded a Bronze Star for his proactive work during a spike in the number of weapons and replica weapons throughout the year in 2012. In a five-month period, Kelley arrested three different suspects in possession of a 9mm handgun and two .38 caliber handguns. Kelley also arrested two additional suspects for being in possession of a Glock replica handgun and a starter pistol. Also includes in the arrests was the seizure of cocaine, marijuana and $6,000 in currency. During one arrest, Kelley uncovered a previously unreported robbery that occurred a day earlier.
Officer Nicholas Forsyth was honored with a Meritorious Service Award for his proactive work with the resort’s illegal drug problem. During the 114 days of summer deployment, Forsyth was responsible for 106 arrests including 74 for controlled dangerous substances. Forsyth also identified a problem residence and through intelligence and interviews provided the narcotics unit with information resulting in a no knock search warrant.
Lieutenant Rick Moreck was also honored with a Meritorious Service Award for his involvement in some of the most dangerous public safety situations in 2012 and over the years. According to an OCPD release, Moreck, now a commander, has worked in an on-call capacity for numerous years and has responded to Ocean City’s worst incidents.
Officer Patrick Flynn was honored with an Excellent Police Performance Award for his role during a May 2012 fatal pedestrian-vehicle collision. Flynn was conducting a traffic stop in the area of 57th Street on May 28 when he was advised by citizens a pedestrian had been struck by a vehicle at 54th Street. Flynn responded to the scene and began life-saving techniques including CPR on the victim, who later died. Flynn also broadcast a description of the suspect and the vehicle, which led to the apprehension and later successful prosecution of the suspect on homicide by motor vehicle while intoxicated charges.
Corporals Brett Case and Joe Bushnell were also honored with Excellent Police Performance Awards for their roles in the investigation and later prosecution of a suspect wanted in connection with deliberately and intentionally running over a convenience store clerk multiple times following a dispute over change during a transaction.
Bushnell was one of the first officers on the scene and encountered the suspect, while Case conducted the follow-up investigation that led to a 20-year sentence for a first-degree assault conviction.
Another Excellent Police Performance Award went to Pfc. Chris Snyder for his investigation into an alleged robbery case that resulted from a fake marijuana sale. Snyder’s actions led to the arrest of both the buyer and the seller in the transaction.
Officer Trevor Greenwalt was honored with an Excellent Police Performance Award after breaking up a suspected counterfeit ring in the resort in June. Greenwalt learned a suspect had attempted to pass counterfeit currency at a convenience store in June and tracked the suspects to a nearby restaurant.
Several Special Commendations were awarded to officers for actions not crime-related. For example, Corporal Richard Wawrzeniak and Pfc. Vicky Martin were honored for administering CPR to a handicapped victim choking and in medical distress in the Inlet area. Pfc. Daniel Jacobs was recognized for performing CPR on an individual severely injured and not breathing after being struck by a vehicle.
Pfc. Shawn Lindsey and Pfc. Kevin Flower were also honored with special commendations for performing life-saving techniques including CPR on a 28-year-old female victim they pulled out of the surf unconscious in the area of 141st Street in June. Finally, Seasonal Officer Brian Beegle was honored with a special commendation for entering the ocean to rescue an emotionally disturbed woman.