Good, Bad News In OCPD’s 2010 Report

OCEAN CITY – The Ocean City Police Department’s 2010 year-end report showed a mixed bag, as some crimes decreased and others increased.

Ocean City experienced a 13 percent increase in robbery, aggravated assault, breaking and entering, and larceny and theft offenses. However, crimes against persons increased 43 percent, while crimes against property increased 12 percent.

The only two categories that remained the same were criminal homicide, zero in 2009 and 2010, and forcible rape, which remained at two incidents. Motor vehicle theft decreased from 28 in 2009 to 16 this past year. The total number of offenses in 2010 was 1,564 compared to the year’s 1,387.

There was also a 15.3-percent increase in calls for service to the police department, including both criminal and non-criminal incidents. The highest number of service calls dealt with business checks and traffic stops while the most minor reason for a citizen to call was for a residential check.

There were 360 driving while intoxicated arrests made and 933 controlled dangerous substance (CDS) arrests made, which was an increase from 839 in 2009. Fifty-three percent of the CDS arrests made were due to possession of marijuana, 21 percent prescription drugs, 14 percent crack cocaine, 7 percent cocaine and 5 percent heroin.

In 2010, there were 3,534 arrests made in Ocean City. Most of the arrests were made in the month of June (1,028). Traffic collisions and weapon arrests increased by a small percentage.

The number of alcohol citations written in 2010 decreased by 3.22 percent. Officer assaults, noise complaints and pedestrian-related traffic collisions were also down this past year.

During a Police Commission meeting a couple weeks ago, the OCPD announced it’s looking to change the make and model of their vehicles.

According to Captain Michael Colbert, the Ford Motor Company will not be manufacturing the Crown Victoria any longer.

“And there is only about 88,000 police cars in America…so for production they have to have other people buying them besides police departments,” he said.

The department is looking at different options such as the two-wheel drive Chevy Tahoe, the Chevy Caprice, the Dodge Charger, or Ford’s Taurus and Explorer.

“We are considering the Tahoe as a vehicle,” Chief Bernadette DiPino said. “It is pursued as capable and safe, and it does get good gas mileage … about the same as the Ford Crown Vic.”

Colbert said the new police vehicles have already been placed in the budget and the department won’t officially buy anything until next fall after the Maryland contract comes out.

“We are going to buy something off the contract that has been researched by other agencies as well and has been approved by the state,” Mayor Rick Meehan said.