Monthly OC Police Report Reviewed

OCEAN CITY – Ocean City’s police chief said the department’s enforcement efforts remained strong last month.

On Dec. 14, Ocean City Police Chief Ross Buzzuro presented the Ocean City Police Commission with an update on police activity for the month of November.

Last month, officer calls for service decreased 13.9% – from 1,380 in November of 2019 to 1,188 in November of 2020 – and citizen calls for service increased 3.6%.

And while there were no significant changes in the top 25 calls for service last month, Buzzuro said the department completed 191 business checks related to COVID-19 restrictions and public health concerns.

“It’s our part in checking businesses and making sure we have the COVID-19 restrictions in place by the governor …,” he said. “That number represents those checks.”

Buzzuro told commission members this week that while arrests and criminal and drug citations had increased throughout the month of November, it represented the department’s ongoing enforcement efforts.

“On a good note, it’s another example of our proactive enforcement that continues, even off-season,” he said.

Last month, custodial arrests increased from 66 to 81, drug arrests increased from seven to 12, marijuana citations increased from one to seven and DUI arrests increased from 10 to 22. Weapons arrests decreased from six to four.

“More drug arrests, more marijuana citations, more DUI arrests and slightly less weapons arrests,” he said.

Council President Matt James questioned if the increase in DUI arrests were a result of restrictions placed on bars during the pandemic.

Buzzuro, however, noted it could be attributed to an increase in the resort’s population.

“That’s one indication that there could be more people here,” he replied. “As we all know, we usually see in November that decrease in our population. This year it’s a little different. There are more people in town.”

As part of its enforcement efforts, the department had also reported an increase in smoking and litter citations throughout the season.

From May to September, the department issued 423 smoking citations – a 307% increase from last year – and seven littering citations on the Boardwalk.

“We actually recorded none in 2019,” Buzzuro said.

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.