October Calls For Service Dip In OC

OCEAN CITY – Ocean City’s police chief said police activity remained consistent throughout October.

On Monday, Ocean City Police Chief Ross Buzzuro presented members of the Ocean City Police Commission with an update on police activity for the month of October. Reviewing statistics from recent years, Buzzuro said officer calls for service decreased from 1,526 in October 2022 to 1,214 in October 2023, while citizen calls for service increased from 792 to 850.

“It’s pretty consistent with where we’ve been the last two years, with some small variances,” he said.

In the top 25 calls for service, the department reported 301 more traffic stops in October. Buzzuro said that number was impacted by Endless Summer Cruisin.

“We’re very proactive with that event,” he said.

He added that calls for service relating to parking and suspicious activity had decreased, while calls to assist fire and EMS had increased, from 73 in 2021 and 137 in 2022 to 199 in 2023.

“That’s a pretty big jump up,” he said.

When asked why calls to assist fire and EMS were higher, Buzzuro said it remained unclear. However, he questioned if the Oceans Calling Festival had something to do with the uptick.

“There’s nothing I can pinpoint other than additional medical needs,” he said. “It could be additional people in town. That crowd that was here until Oct. 1 was a good number of people in town. Maybe that had a slight effect on that, but still that number is higher. We’ll take a look at it internally and see if we have a common denominator there moving forward.”

Buzzuro also told commission members this week that both accidents and trespassing calls had increased in October. He said the jump in trespassing calls was a result of increased enforcement and citizen calls for service.

“Beyond that, everything is fairly consistent,” he said. “We don’t see anything that’s glaring or emergent in terms of problems or patterns.”

Under October enforcement, custodial arrests increased from 84 to 96, drug arrests decreased from nine to six and DUI arrests decreased from 22 to 18. Buzzuro added that weapons arrests decreased from 10 to six, with the department confiscating five knives and one BB gun.

Buzzuro also provided members of the police commission Monday with an update on seasonal recruitment. As of the end of October, the department has received 13 seasonal officer applicants and one public safety aide applicant.

“We’re just starting out at the gate but we are heavily recruiting,” he said.

Buzzuro noted that the next testing dates will be held Nov. 18 and Nov. 19.

“As we get moving, we’ll start to see how this develops,” he 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.