(April 21, 2014) – This weekend thousands of motorcyclists are anticipated to visit Ocean City and the surrounding area as the Bikes to the Beach Spring Rally is scheduled to begin on Thursday, April 24. In correlation with Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, which begins May 1, the Ocean City Police Department is reminding motorists and motorcyclists to “share the road” and be extra alert to keep motorcyclists safe.
“Motorcycles are vehicles with the same rights and privileges as any motor vehicle on the roadway,” commented Ocean City Police Chief Ross Buzzuro. “Motorists should perform visual checks for motorcyclists by checking mirrors and blind spots before they enter or exit a lane of traffic. Pedestrians should also get into the habit of scanning for motorcyclists who might be hidden by other traffic.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcyclists are much more vulnerable than a passenger vehicle occupant in the event of a crash. Motorcyclists should remain alert to other drivers, never ride impaired or distracted and always wear a helmet and other protective gear.
In order to help keep motorcyclists safe in Ocean City, the Ocean City Police Department would like to offer the following tips:
- Always allow a motorcyclist the full lane width—never try to share a lane.
- Perform a visual check for motorcycles by checking mirrors and blind spots before entering or exiting a lane of traffic, and at intersections.
- Always signal your intentions before changing lanes or merging with traffic.
- Allow more following distance – three or four seconds – when behind a motorcycle so the motorcyclist has enough time to maneuver or stop in an emergency.
- Never tailgate. In dry conditions, motorcycles can stop more quickly than cars.
In addition, motorcyclists should follow these tips to remain safe:
- Avoid riding in poor weather conditions.
- Wear brightly colored protective gear and a DOT-compliant helmet.
- Combine hand signals and turn signals to draw more attention.
- Use reflective tape and stickers to increase visibility.
- Never drive while impaired or distracted.
In hopes of a safe and successful “Bikes to the Beach” event and Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, the Ocean City Police Department reminds all drivers and motorcyclists to help share in the responsibility of keeping all road users safe, and do your part by safely “sharing the road.”
Click photo to enlarge. Photo provided by race organizers.
(April 21, 2014) – The Ocean City Police Department is reminding citizens to expect traffic delays the morning of Saturday, April 26, during the 10th Annual Ocean City Island 2 Island Half Marathon and 5K. This year, half marathon runners will begin the race at Assateague Island and make their way to the finish line at the Inlet Lot. Runners participating in the 5K event will remain on the Boardwalk and will not affect traffic.
Upon reaching Ocean City, runners will travel east on Route 50 in the far right lane and cross the Harry W. Kelley Memorial Bridge before crossing Philadelphia and Baltimore Avenues to reach the boardwalk. Drivers should expect delays in the downtown area beginning at approximately 8 a.m. until 10 a.m. Traffic on Baltimore and Philadelphia Avenues will be intermittently stopped in advance of runners reaching the intersections and may at times be stopped for several minutes to accommodate runners without delay.
Event participants and spectators are urged to use crosswalks while crossing roadways and motorists should be extremely vigilant in the downtown area during this event. Finally, the Ocean City Police Department wishes the best of luck to all runners participating in Saturday’s races!
(April 8, 2014) – The Police Commission will hold a meeting for all taxi medallion owners concerning the proposed rate increase on April 28. The meeting will begin at 9 a.m. and take place at the Ocean City Public Safety Building located at 6501 Coastal Highway. Medallion owners will have an opportunity to voice their opinions about the proposed rate hike prior to the Police Commission making any recommendation to the City Council.
This meeting is restricted to medallion owners or their assigned representatives. One speaker per company will be permitted. Those wishing to attend must contact Michelle Monico, Taxi Program Coordinator and Records Management Supervisor, at 410-723-6631 before April 24.
Lt. Scott Harner, Auxiliary Officer Dorothy Morse, Auxiliary Officer Tonja Sas, Chief Ross Buzzuro
(April 4, 2014) – On Friday, April 4, 2014, the Ocean City Police Department celebrated its annual “Auxiliary Officer of the Year” luncheon. The OCPD Auxiliary Unit, which began in 1999, boasts 12 members who volunteer their time to the Ocean City Police Department and the Ocean City community.
The title of “Auxiliary Officer of the Year” is awarded to those who best demonstrate a devotion to duty and public service and whose conduct and contributions exemplify the purpose of the Auxiliary Unit. This year, the honor was awarded to Auxiliary Officer’s Dorothy Morse and Tonja Sas. Each has been a member of the Auxiliary Unit since its inception in 1999. Auxiliary Officer’s Morse and Sas have volunteered a combined total of 9,759.75 hours of service to the Ocean City Police Department and the citizens of Ocean City. Ocean City Police are sincerely grateful for each Auxiliary Officers’ service and commitment.
“Our Auxiliary Officers are invaluable to our department,” commented Chief Ross Buzzuro. “Their dedication to public safety in Ocean City has greatly benefited our community and the men and women of the Ocean City Police Department. I commend Auxiliary Officer Morse and Auxiliary Officer Sas for their tremendous commitment to the Ocean City community.”
Since its inception, the officers of the Auxiliary Unit have collectively volunteered a total of 51,379.75 hours of service to the Ocean City Police Department. In 2013, Auxiliary Officers volunteered 2,956.5 service hours.
Citizens who wish to support the Ocean City Police Department and the Town of Ocean City by joining the Auxiliary Officer Unit are encouraged to contact Lt. Scott Harner at 410-520-5318.
(April 7, 2014) – On February 24, 2014, a Worcester County Grand Jury indicted two suspects, Wade William Korvin, 21, of Odenton, MD, and Terrance James Webster, 20, of Odenton, MD on multiple charges stemming from an incident that occurred in Ocean City last summer. The suspects are each being charged with first degree assault, second degree assault and reckless endangerment, for a serious assault that occurred on August 18, 2013.
Officers responded to the area of 17th Street and St. Louis Avenue at approximately 1:45 a.m. and located the male victim suffering from serious injuries. During the subsequent investigation, officers determined the victim had gotten into a physical altercation with a group of unknown males who then fled the scene. Although police quickly arrived on scene and searched the area, officers were unable to locate the suspects.
Over the next several months, detectives from the Criminal Investigation Division’s Major Crimes Unit were able to identify Korvin and Webster as the two suspects involved in the assault. Detectives presented the case to the Worcester County State’s Attorney’s Office, who secured Grand Jury indictments on both individuals. Korvin and Webster were both released from custody on $100,000.00 bond pending their cases being heard in the Circuit Court for Worcester County.
Immediately following the incident, the victim was admitted to Johns Hopkins Medical Center Surgical Intensive Care Unit in Baltimore, MD. The victim has since been released from the hospital, however is still suffering from the long term effects of the assault.
Please note: The Ocean City Police Department does not have photos or imagines of the suspects available.
(March 31, 2014) – The Ocean City Police Department is joining the U.S. Department of Transportation in the effort to stop distracted driving by celebrating Distracted Driving Awareness Month. The initiative, which takes place during the month of April, reminds citizens to park the phone while on the road.
“Ocean City citizens need to know that we are serious about stopping this dangerous behavior of texting and driving,” commented Chief Ross Buzzuro. “When you text while driving, you take your eyes off the road, hands off the wheel and mind off the task of driving putting yourself and others at risk.”
In 2012, there were 3,328 people killed and 421,000 injured nationwide in distraction-affected crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute reports that a quarter of teens nationwide respond to a text message once or more every time they drive. The Institute also reports that 20 percent of teens and 10 percent of parents admit that they have extended multi-message text conversations while driving.
The Ocean City Police Department reminds citizens that One Text Could Wreck It All. When drivers engage in distracted driving behaviors, they are not only a danger to themselves but to other motorists on the road as well.
For more information about distracted driving and to take the pledge to drive phone free, visit www.distraction.gov.
Back Row L to R: Lt. Elton Harmon, Capt. Kevin Kirstein, Cpl. Howard Caplan, Lt. Richard Moreck; Front Row L to R: Susan Dickerson, Jennifer Albert, Jenna McGoogan
(March 20, 2014) – On March 19, 2014, three Ocean City Police Department public safety aides graduated from the Eastern Shore Criminal Justice Academy’s Jail and Corrections Officer Academy. Public Safety Aides Jennifer Albert, Susan Dickerson and Jenna McGoogan each completed over six weeks of intense training at the Academy. McGoogan was recognized for completing the academy at the top of her class with an academic average of over 97 percent.
“We are extremely proud of the three graduates,” said Ocean City Police Chief Ross Buzzuro. “All three employees have completed several weeks of training and will bring a new level of experience to the department.”
The Ocean City Police Department’s public safety aids are utilized as civilian support staff within the Patrol and Support Services division. While general duties of public safety aides can consist of parking enforcement and patrol operations, the recent academy graduates will be assigned to arrest and detention. Their responsibilities will include processing and custody of detainees, safety and security of the Public Safety facility, interaction with the general public and liaisons between the District Court.
Andre Rafel Johnson
(March 19, 2014) – Earlier this month, the Ocean City Police Department’s Narcotics Unit and Special Enforcement Unit (SEU) received information of a wanted fugitive frequenting Ocean City. Through investigations initiated by detectives, the wanted fugitive was identified as Andre Rafel Johnson, 28, of Delmar, MD. Johnson had outstanding warrants for his arrest in Maryland and an extraditable warrant in Delaware.
On Friday, March 14, 2014, at approximately 11:25 p.m., detectives were able to locate and arrest Johnson without incident at a local Ocean City hotel. During the arrest, Johnson was found to be in possession of heroin and detectives seized over $3,500 in U.S. currency.
Johnson was charged by Ocean City police with felony and misdemeanor heroin charges. Johnson was transferred to the Worcester County Jail on $100,000 bond.
(March 10, 2014) – The Ocean City Police Department is reminding citizens to expect traffic delays this St. Patrick’s Day weekend, as the Delmarva Irish-American Club host their 33nd Annual Parade and Festival. The tradition, which has become one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day parades in Maryland, will take place on Saturday, March 15, 2014. The parade begins at 12 noon at 61st Street and marches south on Coastal Highway to the 45th Street Shopping Center.
In order to offer an ample amount of space for the parade’s participating floats, bands and motorized units, southbound traffic with be reduced to one lane from 63rd Street to 43rd Street. Northbound traffic will remain open, however, no left turns or U-turns will be allowed along the parade route from the northbound lane including 62nd Street.
Residents and visitors will see traffic delays on southbound Coastal Highway as early as 10 a.m. and should expect congestion until after 2 p.m. To avoid traffic delays, viewers and visitors are urged to arrive before 10:30 a.m. and to view the parade from 58th Street south to 45th Street. Ocean City Police are recommending motorists entering the Town of Ocean City use Maryland Route 50, as traffic is not expected to be as heavy in the south end of town.
In addition, heavy pedestrian traffic is also expected along the parade route and in surrounding areas. Pedestrians are encouraged to use crosswalks and cross with caution.
(March 10, 2014) – On Saturday, March 15, Ocean City will again be garbed in green for the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade and festivities. This is always a joyous weekend but the Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) is reminding party-goers to celebrate safely and designate a sober driver.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 269 people have been senselessly killed nationwide in crashes involving drunk drivers during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday from 2007 to 2011. This St. Patrick’s Day, the OCPD is partnering with the Maryland Highway Safety Office to combat impaired driving offenses and will be heavily enforcing drunk driving throughout the holiday weekend.
“We hope that all of our residents and visitors enjoy Ocean City during this St. Patrick’s Day weekend,” commented Chief Ross Buzzuro. “However, we want everyone to be safe and smart during their celebration. Designate a sober driver ahead of time, call a taxi or ride the municipal bus.”
The Ocean City Police Department recommends the following tips to ensure you have a safe St. Patrick’s Day.
- Before the festivities begin, plan a way to safely get home at the end of the night.
- Before drinking, designate a sober driver and leave your car keys at home.
- If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member or use the municipal bus to get home safely.
- If you see a drunk driver on the road, never hesitate to call us at 410-723-6600.
- If you know someone who is about to drive while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get where they are going safely.