News In Brief

OCPD Chief Appointed To State Commission

OCEAN CITY – Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley announced recently Ocean City Police Chief Bernadette DiPino was appointed as a regional representative to the Maryland Police Training Commission.

The commission, which falls under the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, oversees the hiring and training standards for all law enforcement and corrections personnel throughout Maryland. DiPino will serve a three-year term on the commission. Previously, Wicomico County Sheriff Hunter Nelms was the area’s regional representative on the commission.

DiPino was officially sworn in during a police commission meeting yesterday afternoon at the Public Safety Building in Ocean City. Worcester County Clerk of Court Stephen Hales administered the oath.

Worcester County Issues Outdoor Burning Ban

SNOW HILL – After 30 wildfires in the county in the last 30 days, all outdoor burning in Worcester was prohibited indefinitely this week after County Fire Marshal Jeff McMahon issued an outdoor burning ban on Wednesday.

The ban applies to all outdoor ignition sources including campfires, bonfires, fireworks, leaf, brush, grass and trash burning and all other methods of open incineration. McMahon said near drought conditions coupled with several wildfires in the county and surrounding areas in recent week necessitated the burn ban.

“Sine June 2, the county has experienced an increased number of brush, field and woods fires,” he said. “These large fires cause safety concerns for area residents and responding personnel.”

The ban will remain in effect until dry conditions dissipate. In addition, County Environmental Programs director Robert Mitchell has advised all existing outdoor burn permits have been rescinded.

Rabid Bats Cause Health Concerns

SNOW HILL – Two boats found in two separate homes in Snow Hill tested positive this week for rabies, forcing the county health department to issue public warnings.

The bats were found in or near two homes in Snow Hill recently and were tested for rabies after concerns raised by the residents. In general, the health department has seen an increased number of investigations in recent weeks regarding possible bat exposures.

“Rabies is a potentially fatal disease transmitted through the saliva of animals such as bats, raccoons and foxes,” said County Health Officer Debbie Goeller. “If exposed, humans and household pets can be infected as well.”

Any individual who thinks he or she, or a family member of household pet has had direct contact with a bat or other suspected rabid animal recently is encouraged to contact the County Health Department at 410-641-9559 and call his or her doctor immediately.

Officers Participate In Global Torch Run For Special Olympics

OCEAN CITY – Three Ocean City Police Officers yesterday participated in the Global Law Enforcement Torch Run in the nation’s capital as part of latest leg of the journey of the Special Olympics flame that began in Athens, Greece in June.

OCPD Corporals Sydney Findley and Dennis Eade, along with Officer Andrew Yeager, ran in Torch Run yesterday, which began at the White House and made its way through the streets of Washington, D.C.

The Torch Run through Washington is part of a 22,000-mile journey for the Flame of Hope, which was lit in Athens on June 29 and will touch down in five continents over three months before reaching its final destination in Shanghai, China, site of the 2007 Special Olympic Games.

The torch has been carried by a team of Special Olympic Athletes and law enforcement officers throughout its journey. About 200 law enforcement officers will carry the flame before it is used to light the cauldron at the Special Olympics opening ceremonies in Shanghai on Oct. 2.

Four OCPD Officers Graduate With Honors

OCEAN CITY – Four Ocean City Police Department officers graduated recently from the Eastern Shore Criminal Justice Academy with honors and are now preparing for their future assignments with the local department.

Joshua Bunting, who is currently assigned to the Fire Marshal’s Office where he has worked since 2000, was named valedictorian for the class of 2007.

Wilbur Jesson, who served one year as a seasonal officer in Ocean City, was given a Class Leadership Award and also earned a Firearms Award for his proficiency.

John Spicer, a Berlin native, also served one year as a seasonal officer in the resort. Spicer earned a Physical Fitness Award at the academy.

Finally, Michael Karsnitz, a seasonal officer in Ocean City for two years, recently graduated from the academy and is currently attending Salisbury University.

The graduates are currently riding with Field Training Officers on all three patrol shifts and will be given their permanent assignments by the end of July.