OCEAN CITY — Long-time Ocean City Police Department Lieutenant Brian Mongelli was feted with a special retirement ceremony at City Hall this week after a remarkable 26 years with the department.
Mongelli began his career with the OCPD as a seasonal officer in 1992 and was hired as a full-time officer in 1995. In the years since, Mongelli has risen steadily through the ranks to lieutenant, where has served most recently as the lead in the internal affairs department. On Monday, Mayor Rick Meehan recalled his earliest connections with Mongelli during the often-contentious collective bargaining negotiations.
“I got to know Brian a number of years ago when the OCPD was successful in gaining collective bargaining and he served on the committee,” he said. “It was a little contentious at the time and during the negotiations, we really became connected.”
Meehan said Mongelli was instrumental in brokering an agreement over collective bargaining for the OCPD.
“We reached an agreement, and everybody grabbed each other’s hands tightly,” he said. “That really brought the Mayor and Council and the police department and the town together. We developed a mutual respect and that set to tone for the relationship we have today.”
For his part, Chief Ross Buzzuro said Mongelli’s retirement continues a recent string of retirements for the department’s top brass.
“It’s a bittersweet moment,” he said. “For me, it’s like here we go again. We’re losing one of our brightest and best. The number of people he has helped in his career is truly amazing. He has done a tremendous job. He has headed the professional standards division. He has street smarts and book smarts.”
Mongelli then delivered an emotional response to the kind words.
“I’m truly humbled by the kind words,” he said. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve the Town of Ocean City. I’m very proud and it’s a great place to work. You don’t get to have a career like this by yourself.”
Mongelli then thanked the council for its support of the department, Buzzuro and the command staff and his colleagues in the department. He also thanked his family and especially his wife.
“I’m thankful for all of the officers I worked with,” he said. “Being in internal affairs, they made my job easy for the most part.”
Mongelli fondly recalled his 26 years of service to the department.
“When I look back at my career, I was very blessed,” he said. “There were some really tough days and I’m going to leave this job with some scars on my body and some things I wish I could unsee, but I have no regrets.”