Ocean City News In Brief

OCEAN CITY — In the brief this week, several governmental entities are taking a step up in the technology department, while a local grassroots organization gets a tri-fecta of awards in Annapolis.

OCDC Gets Three Awards For Downtown Projects

The Ocean City Development Corporation (OCDC) and the town of Ocean City picked up three awards, including two first place nods, at the 2nd Annual Maryland Downtown Development Association (MDDA) “Pride in Place” Awards in Annapolis on Wednesday, proving that the mission to fix up the downtown areas of Ocean City is starting to garner some “off-island” attention.

The OCDC and the town picked up the first place award in the Streetscapes Category for the Sunset Park project, which essentially transformed a dead end street (South Division Street west of Philadelphia Avenue) into an attractive waterfront public park.

The MDDA also gave the town and OCDC a first place awards under the Bricks and Mortar Category for the improvements and renovations done to the Tarry-A-While house in downtown Ocean City.

Built in 1897, the Tarry-A-While house was completely revamped by a joint effort between the town and the OCDC and is now the office space for the daily operations of the OCDC and provides seasonal housing for 13 Ocean City beach patrol employees.

OCDC also receive an honorable mention in the Marketing and Promotion category for their short promotional video that was done in partnership with Comcast Spotlight.

“We greatly appreciate the recognition we have received from the MDDA on these three projects,” said OCDC Executive Director Glenn Irwin.

Joining Irwin at the ceremonies were Mayor Rick Meehan, City Engineer Terry McGean, and OCDC board members Todd Ferrante and Igor Conev.

OCPD To Get New

Technological Tools

The City Council approved two requests from Ocean City Police Chief Bernadette DiPino on Tuesday, which will allow the local police force to utilize federal grant money to purchase nine new beefed up laptops for police usage called “tough books” and a highly advance license plate reader.

Each of the nine tough books, which can and will be placed inside police vehicles, cost approximately $5,000 apiece. However, DiPino said that the $45,000 to be taken from the Edward J. Byrne Justice Assistant Recovery Grant, (or JAG grant) is still $2,000 less than the original allotment from the aforementioned FY09 grant.

DiPino said that these “tough books” will be essential replacements for the existing, permanently mounted Datalux Tracing In-Car Computers, allowing officers to install and remove the new computers at will, which increases mobility and efficiency in the field, the chief told the Mayor and City Council on Tuesday.

In additions to the new tough books, the council also rubberstamped a request for purchase of an Automated License Plate Reader (ALPR) after an almost two-year test run performed by the OCPD proved that the system was extremely beneficial for field usage.

In February of 2009, the department had received a grant of almost $25,000 from the Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention and Control for the installation of one ALPR.

The department had begun testing these systems in 2008, and currently has one installed in a marked police cruiser, so in essence, the department simply asked Council to purchase the ALPR that is already in use by OCPD officers.

Federal Signal Corporation, the manufacturer of the ALPR to be purchased by the department, has installed over 17,000 in 30 countries around the world.