OCEAN CITY – Due to the monthly Police Commission meeting being canceled, Ocean City Police Chief Ross Buzzuro came before the Mayor and City Council on Monday to present the month of July’s crime statistics and Taser report.
Buzzuro reported July’s total calls for service, including traffic stops, business checks and assistance to citizens, totaled 15,405, which is a 1.8-percent increase from July 2013 when there were 15,128 calls for service. Out of that total, 11,337 were officer initiated, which is a .7-percent increase from July 2013, and 4,068 were citizen initiated, which is a 5.1-percent increase from July 2013.
The total number of calls for service, excluding traffic stops, business checks and assisting citizens, totaled 9,441, which is a 7-percent decrease from July 2013 when there were 10,157 calls for service. Out of the total, 5,542 were officer initiated, which is a 14-percent decrease from July 2013, and 3,899 were citizen initiated, which is a 5-percent decrease from July 2013.
Out of the top 25 calls for service, most of the categories decreased in the month of July starting with city ordinance violations declining from 1,396 in July 2013 to 1,338 this year; disorderly decreased from 836 to 769; assist to citizens decreased from 950 to 729; alcohol violations decreased from 295 to 285; parking complaints/violations decreased from 517 to 245; assist to motorists decreased from 237 to 208; tow impound by police decreased from 168 to 161; noise complaints or violations decreased from 216 to 134; civil dispute decreased from 144 to 125; domestic assault/dispute decreased from 138 to 119; trespassing decreased from 98 to 95; malicious destruction of property decreased from 108 to 85; and report of a fight decreased from 34 to 27.
The categories showing an increase were 911 hang up calls, from 582 in July 2013 to 724 this year; suspicious person or activity increased from 300 to 389; assist to OC EMS increased from 318 to 367; CDS violations increased from 166 to 190; forgery of any kind increased from 83 to 106; assault already occurred increased from 85 to 102; assist to fire company increased from 94 to 99; warrant attempt or arrest increased from 53 to 57; and breaking and entering increased from 18 to 25.
Three categories that remained the same were collisions coming in with 333 in both July 2013 and this year; there were 243 calls for theft already occurred in both years; and 46 calls for DWI investigate and/or arrest in both years.
There were 490 arrests made in July and 233 criminal citations issued. There were 109 drug arrests made and 157 drug citations. There were 51 DUI arrests made and 30 weapon arrests, according to OCPD data.
Seven months into the year, a weekly breakdown reflects a .8-percent decrease in total crime this year compared to last year.
Under Part 1 Crimes there have been no homicides compared to one this time last year; no shootings compared to one this time last year; 18 forcible rapes in 2013 compared to 22 this year; 15 robberies in 2013 compared to 16 this year; 32 aggravated assaults in 2013 compared to 40 this year; 147 burglaries in 2013 compared to 215 this year; 663 larcenies in 2013 compared to 614 this year; 19 auto thefts in 2013 compared to 23 this year; and there were no cases of arson in both 2013 and so far this year.
There have been 468 common assaults so far this year compared to 518 this time last year and 37 minor sex offenses so far this year compared to 34 last year, resulting in an overall total of 1,435 crimes at the end of July this year compared to 1,447 at the end of July in 2013.
For comparison, the weekly average population estimates in Ocean City in July produced by Demoflush was 272,082 this year compared to the four-year average of 293,863, which is a 7-percent decrease.
There were 14 incidents in July where a Controlled Electronic Weapon (CEW), also known as a Taser, was involved. Two out of those 14 incidents resulted in deployment.
On Wednesday, July 16, officers were addressing an intoxicated disorderly suspect, who was screaming at the officers. An officer unholstered his CEW and displayed it and produced a warning arc when the display had no effect on the suspect’s level of compliance. When officers brought the suspect to the ground after the warning arc, an officer utilized his CEW to deliver a drive stun into the suspect’s back, which gained immediate compliance. There were no injuries to anyone involved.
On Monday, July 21, officers were attempting to place an intoxicated and violent suspect into the transport vehicle after placing him in handcuffs. When officers placed the suspect in the transport vehicle, the suspect charged the officers and began thrashing around, kicking several officers in the chest and in the face. An officer unholstered his CEW and produced a warning arc as he approached the suspect and demanded the suspect stop resisting, but the suspect did not listen. The officer delivered a drive stun to the suspect’s leg, which had minimal impact, so the officer delivered a second drive stun to the suspect’s back, which gained full compliance. There were no injuries to anyone involved.