Agencies Team Up To Keep Cruisin’ Weekend Safe

OCEAN CITY – In lieu of the upcoming 17th Annual Cruisin’
OC weekend slated to take place from May 17-20, members from the Ocean City
Police Department, Maryland State Police, Worcester County Sheriff’s Office,
Ocean City Cruzers Car Club and Special Events Productions, Inc. held a news
conference Monday afternoon to speak about the partnership between the
different organizations and the measures everyone will be taking to ensure a safe

Ocean City Police Chief Bernadette DiPino spoke at the
conference, explaining the different goals and priorities the groups will be
following to make sure the event continues to be as successful as it has in the
past with minimal issues.

“The police and cruisers are going to be out there to make
sure the streets are safe,” she said. “We are going to encourage all drivers to
follow all the traffic laws.”

In order to do this, DiPino outlined three priorities of
the groups, the first of which being high visibility.

“You will see a lot of police officers, from both the
Maryland State Police, the Worcester County Sheriff’s Department and the Ocean
City Police Department,” she explained. “They will be out on foot, on bikes and
in marked and unmarked cars, so you will see a lot of visibility over the time
the cruisers are here.”

The second priority explained was the strict enforcement
of the laws to let offenders know that types of showboating such as donuts,
racing and burnouts can be dangerous.

“Our officers are going to be out there and when they see
violations they are going to stop people and either cite them or write them
warnings,” DiPino said.

The last priority presented by DiPino was to ensure
professionalism in the partnership with both participants and onlookers.

“You will see our police officers treating people with
fairness and dignity,” she said. “We believe in that golden rule, do unto
others as you would have them do unto you.”

Pat Elam, vice president of the OC Cruzer Car Club, said
the partnership is one that benefits everyone, especially the cruisers since
police are out there taking care of the few bad apples. Without the police he
said, the event would not be as successful.

“Nine times out of 10 it is people not registered with the
cruisers that cause the problems,” he said.

Of the 4,500 hot rod-type vehicles estimated for the
weekend, only about 3,000 will be registered. The rest are usually folks who
come to take a look with their own favored vehicle for cruising.

As of now, no registered cruiser has ever been ticketed
while in Ocean City, according to DiPino and Elam. However, if one does get a
little antsy and gets caught dropping the hammer for a couple spectators, Elam
said he would remove them from the event, stripping them of their

Brad Hoffman of Special Event Productions, Inc., the
company who helps put the event together, also agreed the extra work done by
the different police departments plays a huge role in the success of the event.

“Their presence deters any bad activity,” he said. “With a
heightened presence you get a low level of that type of activity.”

DiPino also commended the event planners that reached out
to the police departments first in an attempt to make the weekend that much
more safe as they showcase their cars and trophies, enjoy a weekend at the
beach, and benefit from the camaraderie of so many car enthusiasts.

“They are here for the right reasons,” she said. “We have
a great relationship with the cruisers and we want to continue that.”