OCPD Service Calls Continue Decrease Trend

OCEAN CITY – A decrease in calls for service highlighted a monthly update from Ocean City’s police chief.

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 December.

He noted that officer calls for service decreased from 1,197 in December 2022 to 994 in December 2023, while citizen calls for service decreased from 631 to 519.

“That’s pretty considerable,” he said.

Buzzuro said traffic stops continue to be the top call for service. While the department saw a increase in traffic stop calls in December 2022, he noted that the department reported a slight decline in 2023.

“It’s fairly consistent from last year,” he said, “664 versus 615.”

Buzzuro added that the department also recorded a slight increase in calls for fire and EMS assists. He said calls increased from 121 in December 2022 to 133 in December 2023.

“If you look at December 2021, we had 63 calls to assist fire and EMS,” he said. “So there is something within that number that’s a considerable increase from two years ago. But this year was rather consistent with last year.”

Mayor Rick Meehan questioned if the police department responded to every fire and EMS call. Buzzuro said officers responded to almost every call within the corporate limits.

“Unless there’s something going on in the field that would prohibit it,” he replied. “But basically, we respond to every fire and EMS call.”

Buzzuro, however, told commission members the police department recorded decreases in several other calls for service categories, including 911 hangups, suspicious person/activity, general welfare, collisions and premise alarms, to name a few.

Under December enforcement, the police department reported custodial arrests decreased from 90 in December 2022 to 66 in December 2023. Drug arrests decreased from nine to five.

“Drug arrests were almost cut in half, five versus nine last year,” he said. “We are down from that 17 number two years ago.”

Buzzuro added that criminal citations increased from zero to two, while drug citations for marijuana decreased from three to one.

“Two years ago we were at eight,” he said.

Buzzuro also told commission members that both DUI arrests and weapons arrests remained consistent from December 2022 to December 2023.

He noted that the police department confiscated three knives and three other weapons last month.

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.