OCPD Reports Crime Down 14% Through October; Data Reveals Calls For Service Up 17% In Oct.

OCEAN CITY – Police calls for service spiked 17 percent this October compared to last year, while overall crime activity continued its downward trend.
At Friday’s Police Commission meeting, Police Chief Ross Buzzuro reported October’s total calls for service, including traffic stops, business checks and assistance to citizens, totaled 5,550, which is a 17.2-percent increase from October 2012 when there were 4,735 calls for service.
Out of the total, 4,546 were officer initiated, which is a 30.2-percent increase from October 2012, and 1,004 were citizen initiated, which is a 19.3-percent decrease from October 2012.
The total number of calls for service, excluding traffic stops, business checks and assisting citizens, totaled 2,483, which is a 7.2-percent decrease from October 2012 when there were 2,675 calls for service. Out of that total, 1,492 were officer initiated, which is a 3.2-percent decrease from October 2012, and 946 were citizen initiates, which is a 16.6-percent decrease from October 2012.
“Our officers are doing a good job as far as officer initiated calls … they are being very proactive out there,” Council President Lloyd Martin said.
Out of the top 25 calls for service, most categories saw decreases, starting with suspicious person or activity totaling 132 compared to 133 last October; disorderly decreased to 103 this October from 127 last October; assists to OC EMS totaled 75 this year from 108 last year; collisions are down from 58 last year to 44 this year; theft already occurred declined from 50 last year to 41 this year; CDS violations decreased to 32 this October from 38 last October; parking complaints/violations declined from 28 last year to 19 this year; noise complaints or violations decreased to 18 this October compared to 20 last October; malicious destruction of property decreased from 28 last October to 15 this October; assault already occurred was down to 12 this year from 20 last year; alcohol violations decreased to 10 this year from 27 last year; breaking and entering declined from 12 last year to nine this year; lost property report decreased from 11 last year to eight this year; and forgery of any kind decreased to two this year, from three last year.
Coded calls for service that increased included 911 hang up calls to 151 this October from 146 last October; warrant attempt or arrest to 50 this year from 37 last year; domestic assault/dispute to 41 this year from 38 last year; DWI investigate and/or arrest to 33 this year from 29 last year; trespassing to 26 this October from 22 last October; city ordinance violation to 24 this year from 19 last year; tow impound police to five this year from two last year; report of a fight to three this year from two last year; telephone misuse to three this October from two last October; and indecent exposure to two this year from none last year. Civil dispute remained the same with 20 incidents this year as well as last year.
There were 164 arrests made in October and 33 criminal citations issued. There were 35 drug arrests made and 25 drug citations. There were 35 DUI arrests made and 13 weapon arrests, according to OCPD data.
After 10 months, a weekly breakdown reflects a 13.7-percent decrease in total crime this year compared to last year.
“When we have less crime, our officers have more time to be out on the street being proactive to continue to move this community in a positive direction, it has an overall profound effect,” Buzzuro said.
Through October, Part 1 Crime includes one homicide and one shooting compared to none last year. There has been a decline in forcible rape with 18 so far this year from 21 this time last year; a slight increase in robberies with 18 this year from 17 last year; a decrease in aggravate assault with 37 this year and 53 last year; a decrease in overall burglaries with 213 this year and 260 last year; a decline in larceny with 939 this year and 1,058 last year; a decrease in auto theft with 30 this year and 50 this time last year; and so far there has not been any incidents of arson compared to three this time last year.
There have been 743 common assaults so far this year compared to 838 this time last year and 57 minor sex offenses so far this year compared to 82 last year, resulting in an overall total of 2,056 crimes as of the end of October compared to 2,382 at the end of October in 2012. That represents a 13.7-percent decrease after 10 months.
According to demoflush population estimates, in October the monthly average was 125,207 compared to 122,295 in October of 2012, reflecting a slight increase in population this year compared to last.
Included in every monthly crime report is the use of Conducted Electrical Weapon (CEW), or Tasers. In October, there were two incidents when Tasers were targeted, meaning the device was aimed at the suspect with the lasers clearly indicating where the probes will hit the suspect if the officer pulls the trigger.
On Monday, Oct. 21, an officer initiated a traffic stop at the entrance of Route 90 for a suspected intoxicated driver. During this encounter, the suspect agreed to allow the officer to pat him down for drugs. When the suspect went to remove his boots, he fled on foot into the marsh. Due to the fact that it was dark out and officers were unsure if the suspect had any weapons, an officer targeted the suspect with his CEW, which gained immediate compliance. The suspect had a minor abrasion to his forehead from running into the marsh but no officers were injured.
On Sunday, Oct. 27, officers observed an intoxicated subject being escorted out of a night club. When the suspect refused to leave the property, officers informed the suspect he was under arrest. The suspect immediately became belligerent and pulled away from the officers. The suspect was brought to the ground and he continued to struggle with officers. Another officer targeted the suspect with his CEW, which gained immediate compliance. Marijuana was found on the suspect’s person, and there were no injuries to anyone involved.