OC Police Chief Reports Seasonal Recruitment Remains ‘Sluggish’

OC Police Chief Reports Seasonal Recruitment Remains ‘Sluggish’
File photo by Chris Parypa

OCEAN CITY – Ocean City’s police chief reports seasonal recruitment for the department remains “sluggish,” but noted there will be two more testing opportunities in the coming weeks.

During Monday’s meeting of the Ocean City Police Commission, Police Chief Ross Buzzuro provided members with a report on the police department’s seasonal recruitment efforts. As of this week, the department has received 46 seasonal officer applicants and 32 public safety aide (PSA) applicants.

“So it’s sluggish, but we are still moving along in terms of hiring for part-time public safety aides and seasonal police officers,” Buzzuro said.

For decades, the Ocean City Police Department has enhanced its workforce with seasonal officers and PSAs during the summer months. And while interest in the seasonal program gained some momentum in 2021, recruitment has lagged in the years since.

Buzzuro told the commission Monday the police department held its fifth testing date last weekend.

He noted that 16 of the 24 registered seasonal officer applicants and 16 of the 19 registered PSA candidates showed up.

“So it’s fairly close with those that had signed up and those that had actually showed up,” he said.

He noted that during the same testing date last year, the department had 13 seasonal officer applicants and eight PSA applicants attend.

“We doubled that this year with 16,” he said.

In total, the police department has received 46 seasonal officer applications. Buzzuro said that was down from the 50-plus seasonal officer applicants in 2023.

“This number, 46, is opposed to 51, where we had 51 applicants this time last year,” he said. “So not meeting the mark, but fairly close.”

Buzzuro added that the department has received 32 PSA applicants for the coming summer. He said that number was up from 24 last year.

“So we’re slightly higher with our PSA applicants that have come through the door at this point,” he said.

Last year, the police department had, in total, 88 seasonal officer applicants and 45 PSA applicants. According to testing statistics, that number was down from 115 seasonal officer applicants and 50 PSA applicants for the summer of 2022.

Buzzuro noted that while recruitment has lagged, there will be two more testing opportunities for seasonal officers and PSAs. Testing dates are scheduled for Jan. 27-28 and Feb. 17-18, the last testing opportunity for the season.

“We’re obviously looking to hire as many as we can as they move through the process,” he told the commission.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

Alternative Text

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.