Ocean City is changing for the worse. That’s what many have concluded after a stormy couple of weeks on the crime front to kick off summer.
We say let’s allow the season to progress before we start referring to Ocean City as downtrodden and dangerous.
There is no question late-May through mid-June can be a challenging and disturbing time for Ocean City. Many of the crimes of late have raised public safety questions, but they are not unlike incidents from previous years. That may be difficult to believe, but it’s true and records confirm the same kinds of arrests being made now were made last year and the years before.
Ocean City becomes a metropolitan city this time of year and with that surge in population comes urban problems. It’s understandable for locals and visitors alike to be concerned when they hear of a stabbing, drug deals and traffic stops leading to guns and huge brawls on the Boardwalk in the wee hours. None of that has any place in Ocean City, but we need to exercise some caution and perspective before jumping to extreme conclusions.
What makes this year seem different is the perception many have while observing the resort’s guests as they traveling through town and, more specifically, while walking the Boardwalk.
It’s not a wholesome bunch and it’s not the visitors many expect to see in Ocean City. In fact, they look violent and in some cases are, and they are not here to enjoy the beach, bays and Boardwalk. Instead, they look as if they are intent on fighting, raising hell, doing drugs and drinking. It’s disturbing to see this group of miscreants with their disgusting sense of entitlement seemingly growing each year, but we do believe they are the minority of our visitors.
What we need to do is balance our concerns and fears with the working knowledge that this is June in Ocean City. Problems are going to arise when tens of thousands of graduates come to Ocean City looking to celebrate. Combine that with weekends that are jammed with heavy-drawing events and there are bound to be concerns. What needs to be addressed by the city’s leaders is whether the city wants to continue to host these sorts of events during this time of year.
We are not ready to push the panic button and join the group who believe Ocean City is losing its family-friendly image. That will need to be revisited in a couple weeks when the graduate season has ended and families begin converging on Ocean City for their vacations.
Typically, the disturbing incidents that make up every June are long forgotten come July and August when Ocean City, and we look forward to observing that over the coming weeks.