OCEAN CITY — Less than a week after the new ballroom at the Roland E. Powell Convention Center was officially opened, the newly remodeled area was officially broken in on Tuesday with the annual Neighborhood Watch Association’s Ocean City Police “Officer of the Year” banquet.
Pfc. Chris Snyder, who joined the OCPD as a full-time officer nine years ago, was named the Neighborhood Watch Association’s “Officer of the Year” during Tuesday’s annual banquet at the new bayfront ballroom at the Convention Center. Nearly 170 guests attended the annual banquet including numerous City Council members, OCPD brass and members of the resort’s eight Neighborhood Watch Associations, who vote on the annual officer of the year award.
Snyder was chosen from a short list of five other worthy candidates including Dfc. Kyle Murray, Pfc. Daniel Jacobs, Corp. James Runkles, Pfc. Kevin Flower, and Corp. Rick Wawrzeniak. Snyder was clearly surprised to be named the recipient of the 2012 award.
“I’m speechless,” he said. “I never expected to win, especially considering the company I’m in.”
Snyder, originally from Canton, Ohio, worked as a seasonal cadet with the OCPD and was hired as a full-time cadet in 2003. He was hired as a full time OCPD officer in 2004. His educational background includes an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Wor-Wic Community College. He is a domestic violence investigator, a patrol crime scene technician and the Bayshore Drive neighborhood watch liaison officer.
Snyder is active in the pursuit of wanted individuals in Ocean City and is currently assigned to the Patrol Division’s Evening Watch. During his career, Snyder has received awards for meritorious service, excellent police performance awards and was nominated three times for office of the year.
“It was a tremendous honor just being nominated and I am very grateful to be recognized by our citizens,” he said on Tuesday. “I want to thank my fellow officers who are like my family. This is a great community and I am fortunate to not only work here but to also live in town. Every resident, especially the neighborhood watch members, is an incredible resource to the Ocean City Police Department. We truly are a partnership and we could not accomplish all we do without their support.”
Also recognized during the ceremony was long time neighborhood watch member Dan Donatelli. Donatelli was recognized for his ten years of service with the Montego Bay Neighborhood Watch Association, during which he has served as the Area Coordinator for the group.
Other OCPD officers were recognized with promotions and commendations on Tuesday, including PFC. Joseph Zurla, Corporals James Runkles, Todd Speigle, Vance Row and Allen Hawk; Sergeants Shawn Jones and Frank Wrench; and Lieutenant Howard Whaley.