Resort Police Captain Retiring After 35 Years

Resort Police Captain Retiring After 35 Years
Pictured, from left, are OCPD Chief Ross Buzzuro, Connie and Kevin Kirstein and Mayor Rick Meehan. Photo by Shawn Soper

OCEAN CITY — Long-time Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) Captain Kevin Kirstein was feted with a special retirement ceremony this week after a remarkable 35-year career with the department.

After 35 years of service to Ocean City, Kirstein will officially retire on March 31 and will pursue other paths in the law enforcement field. Kirstein joined the OCPD as a seasonal officer in 1980 and was hired as a full-time officer in 1983. He was promoted to sergeant in 1988, lieutenant in 1991 and captain in 2004.

Since being appointed to the rank of captain, Kirstein has served as the commander of each division of the OCPD including patrol, criminal investigation and support services. He also served as acting chief of police in the winter of 2013.

Kirstein in 1998 graduated from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) National Academy, an elite law enforcement leadership academy. Kirstein received several awards throughout his career including a Bronze Star and numerous commendations. In addition, he was assigned to the New York Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management Incident Command Post after the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center.

Mayor Rick Meehan thanked Kirstein for his many contributions to the town, both as a captain with the OCPD and as a firefighter.

“Tonight, we say goodbye to one of our most valuable city employees,” he said. “Thank you for all of these years and all of these positions in the police department. There are always guys you can count on as the go-to guy and that’s how I’ve always thought of Kevin. We’d give him an idea or a concept and he would grab hold of it and go with it. That’s an example for all of us. He always gave it 100 percent.”

Chief Ross Buzzuro also praised Kirstein.

“We respect and pay tribute to you and most of all say thank you,” he said. “You have been in integral part of this department and keeping this community safe. Sometime back, I started referring to Kevin as omnipresent because he was always around and he was always fully submerged in his duties. For me as chief, it doesn’t get any better than that.”

Buzzuro related the story of Kirstein holding the indoctrination process for the newly-minted officers from the seasonal police academy and how the recruits would attempt to “Stump the Cop” with questions about police work in general and Ocean City specifically.

“They would throw questions at him and he was always on the money,” he said. “They couldn’t stump him. I don’t know all the answers and I look to Kevin as my right arm. That institutional knowledge is hard to replace and we thank you for your service.”

Meehan thanked Kirstein’s wife, Connie, for supporting her husband and the community through his decades of service to the OCPD and also the fire department.

“Thank you for allowing Kevin to do everything he does,” he said. “You and Kevin and your entire family are so involved in the community. This is a great place to raise a family and you helped make it that way.”

In addition to a proclamation and a key to the city from Ocean City, Kirstein received kinds words and a proclamation from the Worcester County Commissioners, Gov. Larry Hogan and Delegate Mary Beth Carozza’s office. After retirement, Kirstein plans to continue training public safety professionals throughout the world for the Department of Homeland Security. He also plans to travel with his wife in his recreational vehicle.

“I have been blessed with a long and successful career where I have worked for and with exceptionally talented public servants,” he said. “Traveling throughout the public safety community, I am constantly reminded of the outstanding caliber of professionals and volunteers who serve the residents and visitors of Ocean City. Mark Twain was speaking of my Ocean City career when he said ‘find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.’ Thank you to my community for allowing me the privilege to serve for over 35 years.”

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.