OCEAN CITY – This February, one of the slowest months during the off-season in Ocean City, reflected both a decrease in crime and visitors.
At last week’s Police Commission meeting, Police Chief Ross Buzzuro reported February’s total calls for service, including traffic stops, business checks and assistance to citizens, totaled 3,506, which is a .2-percent decrease from February 2013 when there were 3,513 calls for service.
Out of that total, 2,943 were officer initiated, which is a 3.3-percent increase from February 2013, and 563 were citizen initiated, which is a 15.2-percent decrease from February 2013.
The total number of calls for service, excluding traffic stops, business checks and assisting citizens, totaled 1,590, which is a 6.4-percent decrease from February 2013 when there were 1,699 calls for service. Out of the total, 1,048 were officer initiated, which is a 3.1-percent decrease from February 2013, and 542 were citizen initiated, which is a 12.3-percent decrease from February 2013.
“As far as the top 25 calls for service, there isn’t anything dramatic as far as a swing,” Buzzuro said. “Most of the calls are consistent with the previous year.”
Out of the top 25 calls for service, the majority of categories increased slightly starting with assist to citizens reached 87 from 74 last year; 911 hang up calls increased to 78 from 77 last year; disorderly was 30 compared to 27 last year; collisions reached 22 compared to 11 last year; parking complaints/violations went up to 18 from 10 last year; civil disputes increased to 17 from 16 last year; assault already occurred went up to 12 from 10 last year; breaking and entering reached nine from six last year; telephone misuse increased to five from two last year; forgery of any kind was four compared to two last year; child abuse increased to three from none this time last year; and noise complaints reached two compared to one call last year.
Coded calls for service that decreased included suspicious person or activity declined from 129 last year to 100; assist to OC EMS were 46 compared to 74 last year; assist to motorists was 58 last year compared to 40 this year; assists to Fire Company decreased to 33 compared to 43 from last year; warrant attempt per arrest declined to 28 from 30 year; DWI investigate and/or arrest went down to 20 from 28 last year; domestic assault/dispute decreased to 20 from 23 last year; theft already occurs declined from 15 last year to 14 this year; CDS violations went down to 13 compared to 19 last year; malicious destruction of property decreased to nine compared to 12 last year; lost property report declined to three from four last year; and was one call to report a fight compared to three this time last year.
The last category, city ordinance violation, under the top 25 calls for service remained the same with nine calls in both 2013 and 2014.
There were 75 arrests made in February and 16 criminal citations issued. There were 16 drug arrests made and 12 drug citations. There were 27 DUI arrests made and zero weapon arrests, according to OCPD data.
Two months into the year, a weekly breakdown reflects a 21.6-percent decrease in total crime this year compared to last year.
Mayor Rick Meehan pointed out burglaries have continued to rise since last month.
“In January, we noticed several burglaries in one area that we believe several individuals were responsible for, and actually in another part of town there were several burglaries reported we related to other individuals,” Buzzuro said. “Both of those cases are showing progress.”
OCPD Capt. Michael Colburt added out of burglary cases a third were break-ins into vacant homes but nothing was stolen because individuals were either looking for a place to sleep or parties were held.
“The item mostly being stolen at this time is TVs,” Capt. Colburt said.
For comparison, the weekly average population estimates in Ocean City in February produced by Demoflush was 61,249 this year, which is an 11.4-percent decrease from last year.