OCEAN CITY – Data presented by the Ocean City Police Department from June through August reveals overall crime this summer compared to previous seasons.
At Monday’s Police Commission meeting, it was reported August’s total calls for service, including traffic stops, business checks and assistance to citizens, were 12,983, which is a 1.8-percent increase from August 2012 when there were 12,757 calls for service.
Out of the total number of calls for service, 9,421 were officer initiated, which is a 3.1-percent increase from August 2012, and 3,562 were citizen initiated, which is a 1.5-percent decrease from August 2012.
The total number of call for service, excluding traffic stops, business checks and assisting citizens, totaled 8,400, which is a 2.8-percent decrease from August 2012.
“Most of the categories show a move in a positive direction compared to years previous,” Ocean City Police Chief Buzzuro said, reviewing the top 25 calls for service.
The chief pointed out disorderly calls for the month of August totaled 713, compared to 753 last August; suspicious person or activity declined from 350 last August to 275 this August; alcohol violations decreased from 291 last August to 250 this August; theft already occurred decreased from 235 last August to 194 this August; CDS violations dropped to 168 this August compared to last August’s 208; civil disputes were 115 this August compared to 138 last August; domestic assault declined from 119 last August to 107 this August; malicious destruction dropped to 73 this August compared to 103 last August; DWI investigation and/or arrest decreased from 46 last August to 33 this August; and breaking and entering declined from 23 last August to 11 this August.
Other coded calls for service that declined included parking complaints/violation, 294 this August from 332 last August; assistance to OC EMS, 294 this August from 346 last August; noise complaints or violations, 132 this August from 148 last August; assault already occurred, 85 this August from 92 last August; forgery of any kind, 82 this August from 93 last August; report of any lost children, 43 this August from 57 last August; warrant attempt or arrest, 38 this August from 43 last August; report of a fight, 23 this August from 26 last August; and indecent exposure, 16 this August from 21 last August.
“Those indicators are pretty positive as we move forward past the month of August,” Buzzuro said.
Coded calls for service that increased included city ordinance violation, 1,114 this August from 890 last August; 911 hang up, 572 this August from 535 last August; collisions, 316 this August from 287 last August; tow impound police, 90 this August from 86 last August; and lost property report, 42 this August from 32 last August. Trespassing remained the same at 105 incidents in both August of 2012 and 2013.
There were 396 arrests made in August and 199 criminal citations issued. There were 87 drug arrests made and 142 drug citations. There were 39 DUI arrests made and 22 weapon arrests, according to OCPD data.
According to demoflush population estimates, in August the weekend average was 290,966 compared to 290,670 in August of 2012, reflecting a minimal increase in population this year compared to last.
“The crime report is excellent,” Commission Chair Councilman Doug Cymek said. “It shows a continuous downward trend and that is something we need to put out there to the public that things are improving from year to year.”
In August, there were a total of 10 incidents involving Electronic Control Devices (ECD), also known as Tasers, whether it was a display of the equipment to a warning arc, target or deployment. Out of the 10 incidents there were three deployments. It has been a city police to review all Taser incidents at the elected official level.
On Aug. 16, an officer responded to a bar to assist security with removing an intoxicated female patron from the bar. The officer observed the suspect in a physical altercation with bar staff and ran over to assist. When the officer told the suspect to stop fighting, the suspect turned toward the officer, and scratched the officer’s arm. The suspect later bit the same officer’s arm. Another officer assisted and was also kicked and scratched by the same suspect. A third officer deployed a “drive stun” to the suspect with his Taser, which gained immediate compliance. The primary officer sustained an abrasion and swelling to her knee when she brought the suspect to the ground.
On Aug. 29, an officer was handling an alcohol violation on the sidewalk, when another intoxicated subject came out of an apartment and hindered the officer’s investigation. The officer told the subject to stay back, but the subject refused. The subject tried to take his friend who was the subject of the alcohol violation away from the officer, but the officer prevented this from happening and told the subject he was under arrest for hindering the investigation. The subject began to physically resist against the officer, and was subsequently Tased, which allowed the officer to gain control of the situation and both subjects. No injuries to anyone involved.
On Aug. 30, an intoxicated subject was placed under arrest for acting disorderly in a bar. The subject refused to come out of his holding cell at the Public Safety Building, in order to see the commissioner. When officers attempted to remove the subject from the cell, he physically resisted, by kicking and pushing the officers. An officer deployed his Taser on the subject, which allowed the officer to gain control of the subject. No injuries to anyone involved.
“I believe we are just about where we need to be having every line officer in the field Taser equipped with more to follow,” Buzzuro said. “Some of the procurement of Tasers was through donations that helped us incredibly. We really appreciate that in moving us ahead of schedule.”
The chief furthered once all line officers are equipped with Tasers, the criminal investigation unit will become equipped followed by supervisors.
“They sure have proved themselves,” Cymek said.
Captain Kevin Kirstein also thanked the community for donations.
“We appreciate the community assistance in supplying us with the Tasers,” he said.