OCPD Tweaks Equal Opportunity Standards

OCEAN CITY- While the Ocean City Police Department maintains the fair and equal opportunity hiring practices, subtle changes in a general order approved by the Mayor and Council this week officially puts the department’s policies in writing.

OCPD Chief Ross Buzzuro and Captian Greg Guiton this week presented a pair of general order changes to the Mayor and Council for approval, one of which codifies the department’s hiring practices. While the OCPD, and all town departments ostensibly, are held to strict hiring standards guaranteeing equal opportunity, the general orders regarding employment practices needed a little tweaking after a recent review, according to Buzzuro.

“This general order encompasses everything from A to Z,” he said. “It outlines our commitment to be equal and fair and it meets all of the necessary requirements.”

Guiton explained the general order changes did not signal a departure from the OCPD’s existing hiring practices, but clarified some of the language and put them in writing.

“We have practices in place, but this memorializes them,” he said. “We worked with Wayne [Human Resources Director Evans] to make sure we covered all the bases.”

Guiton told the Mayor and Council the OCPD memorializing the department’s hiring policies in the general order ensured the already in use practices were being adhered to.

“It’s important that we have written down all of our policies,” he said. “There are criteria that have to be met and this brings all that into one comprehensive policy. We’ve been doing this as practice, but this puts everything in writing.”

As far as the language itself, the general order appears to leave no stone unturned as far as ensuring equal employment opportunity for the OCPD. The original general order covering hiring practices solely addressed background issues. The revised general order provides specific standards and guidance regarding applicant selection, from application review to appointment.

“The town of Ocean City expresses its support and commitment to the principle of equal employment opportunity,” the general order reads. “It is the town’s policy to recruit, hire, train and promote individuals, as well as administer any and all personnel actions, without regard to race, color, religion, creed, age, sex, national origin or ancestry, marital status, status as a disabled or Vietnam-era veteran, status as a qualified individual with a mental or physical disability, familial status, sexual orientation or genetic information in accordance with applicable laws.”

The revised general order goes on to state any deviation from the specified hiring protocols will not be tolerated.

“The department does not show any partiality or grant any special status to any applicant, employee or group of employees unless otherwise required by law,” the general order reads. “The town will not tolerate any discriminatory hiring practices and will address such prohibited conduct through its disciplinary process.”

The general order states the Chief of Police will ultimately hold sway over the hiring and retention of sworn and non-sworn officers. After a careful review, the Mayor and Council approved the revised general order.