OCEAN CITY – It was standing room only on Monday evening at City Hall’s Mayor and Council chambers as members of the Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) and the public arrived to welcome Ocean City’s new Police Chief Ross Buzzuro.
Joining the Mayor and City Council was Worcester County Sheriff Reggie Mason, Worcester County State’s Attorney Beau Oglesby, Maryland State Police First Sergeant Dave Sharpe, Berlin Police Chief Arnold Downing and Ocean City Fire Chief Chris Larmore.
Mayor Rick Meehan took the floor looking back to January of this year when Ocean City’s chief of police position became vacant when 25‐year Town of Ocean City employee, Chief Bernadette DiPino, left to take a position in Sarasota, Fla.
It was at that time City Manager David Recor suggested for OCPD’s three police captains take on the role of acting police chief, rotating in 45-day intervals until the position was permanently filled.
“I want to tell you, and I think the people in this room know that Capt. Guiton, Capt. Kirstein and Capt. Colbert raised the bar in our department and did an absolutely tremendous job. The department never skipped a beat, and I can tell you they excelled and rose to every occasion to meet all challenges. We saw a command staff that truly worked together, worked together with all the officers and the members of the department, and that clearly sets the tone for the future of Ocean City,” the mayor said, as the room erupted into a standing applause.
Meehan furthered, after conducting a national search the Town of Ocean City received approximately 80 qualified applicants to fill the chief of police position. The chief of police is responsible for overseeing the department, which consists of nearly 100 full time officers, 100 seasonal officers and approximately 20 civilian employees.
In addition, responsibilities include developing and implementing law enforcement initiatives and crime prevention strategies, creating organization and community partnerships, overseeing operational commands and managing a multi‐million dollar budget.
“We are very proud to be here tonight to introduce to you and to swear in the chief that was selected as a result of that process,” said, as he introduced Buzzuro.
Buzzuro began his career in law enforcement in 1985, as a police cadet in Baltimore City. He worked his way through the ranks, serving as a sergeant, detective lieutenant, deputy major, major and eventually being named lieutenant colonel in 2007.
A graduate from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Academy and the University of Maryland’s Fire & Rescue Institute, Buzzuro has been a commander within the Baltimore City’s Special Enforcement Section, Patrol Division, Criminal Investigation Division, and Internal Investigations Division. He has a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Management from John Hopkins University and is known for improving operations, effectively managing resources and strengthening relationships.
“We also believe that it is Chief Buzzuro’s knowledge, experience and leadership that stood out. I believe we have the best police department anywhere in the state and I believe we now add one more piece to the police department to make it even better. Our police department has a bright future, we have gone through some difficult times but we are ready to move forward,” the mayor said, as he administered the Oath of Office.
Buzzoro sincerely thanked the Mayor and City Council for giving him the opportunity to serve Ocean City’s community, and to lead the men and women, both sworn and civilian, of the OCPD.
“Our profession is a noble profession, and we are the protectors, and serve the people from whom we derive our authority, and I have to say over the last couple days I have been with the members of the Ocean City Police Department and they welcomed me with open arms,” Buzzuro said. “The camaraderie is second to none, and I am just so very, very proud to be part of the organization. In closing, I pledge to serve the town of Ocean City with dignity and honor. Always giving my best and I want to assure that all, whether you are citizen, resident or visitor, that you have the opportunity to live your lives with nothing but enjoyment and peace.”
Buzzuro, who was on the scene of the plane crash on Sunday and Monday, also addressed the victims in the plane crash. Meehan also addressed the crash in further statements to be included in another article.