OCPD Lieutenant Nominated For Nationwide Contest

OCEAN CITY – One of Ocean City’s finest recently found out
he had become a nominee in a contest organized by one of the United States’
most well-known television programs.

It was a couple weeks ago when 14-year Ocean City Police
Department Lieutenant Mark Pacini, a supervisor in the Criminal Investigation
Division and 1998 Officer of the Year winner, was approached by a fellow
officer and told he had been nominated for a competition sponsored by America’s
Most Wanted and Sprint Nextel that looks to reward first-responders all over
the country.

The contest runs eight weeks and each week a finalist is
chosen from among a group of firefighters, law enforcement officers, EMTs, and
other types of first responders that have been voted on by the public. At the
end of the eight weeks, the eight finalists chosen will then be voted on once
more to determine the nation’s All-Star first responder for 2007.

According to OCPD’s Community Services Coordinator Barry
Neeb, the nomination was an anonymous one that he believed came from a young
man Pacini had helped numerous times over the years of working on the
Boardwalk. Pacini’s profile on the contest website said his nominator chose him
because, “Lt. Pacini has always treated individuals
with respect and acts as a role model to young members of the community.”

A press release from the OCPD said Pacini’s supervisor,
Captain Robert Bokinsky, calls Pacini, “Someone you never have to motivate. He
shows up motivated every day, and he motivates those around him. He has the
zeal of a rookie. He’s great to work with.”

Neeb went on to call Pacini a “modest man” and said a
nomination in a nationwide contest such as this is really special.

“It’s a compliment because of the caliber of people we
have doing this job is extraordinary,” he said. “If you look at what they do
and provide to the community it’s impressive.”

As for the competition, Neeb said he thinks it’s a great
way to recognize first responders who do their jobs solely to make a

“They don’t do it for the recognition, for people to jump
up and down and say, ‘You’re wonderful,’” he said. “The fact that somebody
thinks enough of this recognition speaks highly of their character.”

A total of five finalists have already been chosen and
those who wish to vote for Pacini can do so until April 15 on the America’s
Most Wanted website. As for support for a fellow officer coming from in-house,
Neeb said he has voted everyday, he added with a laugh, and most in the
department have done so as well.