Police Looking Ahead To Enforcement During Fall Auto Events

OCEAN CITY – In an effort to suppress illegal activity at vehicle-related special events this fall, Ocean City officials this week began discussions on enforcement and compliance measures for certain laws and ordinances.

Among them is a new state law that prohibits individuals with diesel-powered vehicles from intentionally emitting exhaust onto other people and vehicles, a practice commonly referred to as “rolling coal.”

In a Police Commission meeting Monday, Police Chief Ross Buzzuro said the new law will take effect the week prior to Endless Summer Cruisin’.

“The fine for that will be $500 in the state of Maryland,” he said. “That’s something we will be able to enforce come Oct. 1.”

City officials also mentioned that businesses in certain areas must also comply with a local ordinance requiring them to display signs warning residents and visitors of state laws against disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace. The ordinance, Mayor Rick Meehan said, was a result of issues the town faced at prior Cruisin’ and H2Oi events.

“We passed this ordinance and I think that people forget pretty quickly events and the impact of events,” he said.

When the ordinance was passed in 2015, businesses had until May of 2016 to obtain and install the signs, which were distributed by the town. Meehan, however, said very few businesses have done so.

“We gave them a certain date to have these signs,” he said. “That date has passed. I’m not looking to penalize them … I would rather see compliance. That’s the most important thing.”

Meehan called on city officials to reach out to the Greater Ocean City Chamber of Commerce and the Ocean City Hotel-Motel-Restaurant Association to help spread the word to its members.

“It’s not a penalty for the businesses,” he said. “It’s to allow them to work with us to acknowledge that these ordinances are enforced on those properties.”

Looking into the fall season, Buzzuro said the town will continue to partner with agencies from around the state during vehicle-related special events. He said last year was the first year that the Ocean City Police Department partnered with two additional allies, the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office and the Queen Anne’s County Sheriff’s Office.

Councilman and Commission Chair Dennis Dare asked if any additional law enforcement units will partner with Ocean City this fall.

“Do you foresee having additional units over what we had in the past?” he said.

Buzzuro expects the same level of cooperation as in years past.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.