OCPD Restrictive Order Sails Past Council

OCEAN CITY – The general order outlining restricted duty status for sworn police officers of the Ocean City Police Department was passed unanimously at Monday’s City Council meeting.

General order 500 H-3 addresses restricted duty status, and the positions offered to those injured in the line of duty as well as those injured outside of the line of duty.

Restrictive duty status provides sworn personnel of the police department the opportunity to perform administrative tasks in lieu of taking leave. Although those injured outside of the line of duty have the opportunity for the restricted duty status, those injured in the line of duty still take priority.

Only 5 percent of the police force is allowed to be on restricted duty status, which at this time would be five people.

The general order was presented to the council for approval at the beginning of July, but after concerns arose, it was decided to send the order back to the police commission for further review.

The issues and concerns with the general order were discussed at the most recent police commission meeting. There was concern that the city could end up with a large chunk of the force on restrictive duty status, taking away from the amount of officers available to be on the street. Police Chief Bernadette DiPino had explained that the 5 percent limit on restricted duty positions provides the necessary limitations.

With no further concerns, the general order was brought before the Mayor and Council again. Seeing no problems besides a few minor changes in wording, the council voted unanimously, with Councilman Jay Hancock absent, to pass the order.