Ocean City is a safe and clean family beach resort, but it doesn’t happen by accident.
Despite the massive population surges four months of the year, Ocean City is committed to keeping its beach and public places clean. For the most part, those efforts are evident daily on the beach, Boardwalk, the parks and public streets. With any resort that sees the huge population swings Ocean City does, there could be singled out examples, but for the most part visitors and citizens enjoy a beautiful and clean beach and other public sites.
However, there is perhaps nothing more important than the safety of the town’s residents, workers and visitors. If public safety was in question, Ocean City would not be able to be the success story it is today.
A few summers ago, some high-profile incidents started to raise questions about Ocean City’s safety levels, particularly at night, and whether the changing demographic of the visitor — most notably seen in June — was reason for major concerns.
Some significant changes took place, including the advent of a monitored camera system on the Boardwalk and License Plate Readers at the entrances to the town that allow police to be proactive rather than simply reactive. Other departmental changes not known to the public due to their covert nature also went a long way.
The arrival of Police Chief Ross Buzzuro in 2012 and his 25 years of urban law enforcement experience in Baltimore also helped significantly. His leadership is different than his predecessors and seems to be refreshing within the department.
Last summer there was a major concern heading into the season that the OCPD was not adequately staffed, having hired less seasonal officers due to a variety of factors. However, on Monday, Buzzuro reported Ocean City’s crime rate for 2015 hit a 25-year low with serious crime offense down 45 percent from 2014.
“I’m very pleased. This is where we want to be. We want to be going in the right direction. I don’t know how far you’d have to go back to find a lower crime rate. There is still much work to be done, but we’re on the right track and I expect that to continue in 2016,” the chief told the council.
It can be said numbers can be twisted to match any sort of viewpoint, but in this case the numbers do not lie. Crime hit a low mark unseen in years. That doesn’t happen just by chance, and we congratulated the men and women in blue on a job well done and look forward to this becoming a trend in Ocean City. That would benefit everyone.