Monthly Archives: July 2011



Due to an increase in the use of laser pointers, the Ocean City Police Department is remindingcitizens of the “Harassment by Laser Pointer” law. The ordinance, which has been in effect sincelast summer, makes it unlawful for anyone to focus, or shine a laser pointer directly or indirectly on another person or animal in any manner. It is also unlawful for any person to shine a laser pointer directly or indirectly on a balcony, porch, patio, deck or any other structure where a person or persons may gather or in any window or door, or any vehicle on land, air or water, which includes but is not limited to cars, bicycles, scooters, buses, trams, planes, helicopters, boats, jet skies, motorcycles, segways or wheelchairs in any manner.


It is also illegal for minors to purchase or possess laser pointers within the corporate limits of Ocean City.


It is also a crime for any person to shine a laser pointer on the beach, boardwalk, public streets or sidewalks or from private property onto the beach, boardwalk, public streets or sidewalks, or from public property onto private property or from private property onto another private property.


Additionally, it is unlawful to sell a laser pointer without having a sign conspicuously posted at the point of sale or exchange advising potential purchasers of the Ocean City laser pointer law. It is unlawful to sell a laser pointer without providing the purchaser with written notice, in bold face type, a copy setting forth verbatim the laws set forth in the Ocean City Code.


The penalties for violations of this law make it a misdemeanor offense punishable by up to six months in jail and or a $1,000 fine. The OCPD will be strictly enforcing this ordinance and is asking for the public’s cooperation and compliance.


As a reminder, laser pointers are not toys. These devices should never be shined on or around people or animals. The devices, if used improperly, pose risks to humans and animals and could cause eye damage. Parents of children who have been given laser pointers are reminded that it is no longer legal for minor children to possess laser pointers and they should be restricted from their use.


The ordinance is posted on the Town of Ocean City web page:



Pictured: OCPD Chief Bernadette DiPino is pictured with members of the Ocean City Police Department at the 2010 Caine Woods National Night Out event. Also in attendance was former Governor Robert Ehrlich, with his two children.

The Ocean City Police Department, in coordination with National Association of Town Watch, will be celebrating the “28th Annual National Night Out” program on Tuesday, August 2, 2011 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Fiesta Park in Caine Woods and Gullway Villas on Lark Lane.  In 2010, the program involved over 36 million people in 14,625 communities from all 50 states,U.S.territories, Canadian cities and military bases worldwide.

The Ocean City Police Department is partnering with two neighborhood watch associations inOceanCity to bring crime prevention awareness and community policing to the area.  “National Night Out has proven to be an effective, inexpensive and enjoyable program to promote neighborhood spirit and the partnership between the OCPD and the community,” said Chief Bernadette DiPino.  “It is an event that only lasts a few hours, however the benefits of the evening extend well beyond one day.”

 National Night Out, a yearlong community building campaign, is designed to heighten crime prevention awareness, generate support and participation in local anticrime programs and strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships. In addition, the program was developed to send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back against crime.

 On behalf of the Ocean City Police Department, Chief DiPino would like to inviteOceanCitycitizens to participate in National Night Out festivities.  In addition, the OCPD encourages you to be the “eyes and ears” of your community, by reporting crime or suspicious activity to the Ocean City Police Department. For more information regarding National Night Out, or the Ocean City Police Department’s role in National Night Out, please contact the OCPD Public Affairs Office at 410-723-6665.


Ocean City Police Chief Bernadette A. DiPino was selected to aid in the development of an Executive Guide for law enforcement regarding sexual misconduct by police officers.  In partnership with the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), Chief DiPino’s contributions assisted in the development of Addressing Sexual Offenses and Misconduct by Law Enforcement: Executive Guide.

 The Executive Guide, which was developed with the U. S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women, was created to assist law enforcement executives in preventing and investigating sexual offenses and misconduct by police officers.  The Addressing Sexual Offenses and Misconduct by Law Enforcement: Executive Guide is an important tool for police leaders, which addresses criminal offenses as well as non-criminal sexual conduct that is inappropriate, unprofessional and damaging to the public confidence in a department. 

 “Sexual offenses and misconduct implicating law enforcement represent a grave abuse of the authority the badge represents,” said Chief DiPino.  “I am proud to have participated in a project that encourages executives to prepare to proactively address and prevent officer misconduct through agency mission, policy and training.”

In addition, the guide supports creating a culture of accountability, ensuring that training, including academy and field training officer curricula, addresses sexual misconduct to include criminal and non-criminal behavior, identifying and responding to warning signs, accepting and investigating all allegations and addressing allegations that are sustained. The executive guide is available to law enforcement at no cost and can be accessed electronically at


The Ocean City Police Department is currently accepting applications for the 2011 Citizen’s Police Academy.  The Citizens Police Academy begins classes on September 6, 2011 from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. and continues every Tuesday for ten weeks.

The Ocean City Police Department has been offering the citizens of Ocean City the unique opportunity to see the inner workings of the resort police department for nearly 13 years. The Citizens Police Academy was created to enable citizens to learn more about the Ocean City Police Department and build the relationship between the police and the community.

During this course, students meet a variety of officers to learn about criminal law, traffic enforcement, evidence collection, firearms, arrest procedures, narcotics enforcement and many other topics. Students also participate in practical scenarios, which afford citizens hands-on opportunity to understand various law enforcement applications.

“Educating citizens about their police department and illegal activity in their community is one of the best forms of crime prevention,” Said OCPD Chief Bernadette DiPino.  “The Citizen’s Police Academy not only benefits our community but also benefits the officers of the Ocean City Police Department.”

The Citizens Police Academy has a limited class size of 25 participants. Interested persons must complete a written application and give permission for the Ocean City Police Department to conduct a background check to determine if they have a criminal record. For more information about the Citizens Police Academy or to receive an application, please contact the OCPD Public Affairs Office at 410-723-6665, or download the application from:


OnJuly 16, 2011, at approximately 1:47 am, Ocean City Narcotics Detectives assisted by both plainclothes and uniformed patrol officers attempted to place an individual under arrest for Distribution of Controlled Dangerous Substance to an undercover OCPD Detective.

During the arrest, the suspect identified as Michael Joseph McGovern, 30, of Williamsport, PA, fled from officers in the area of 19th Street and the Boardwalk.  A lookout for McGovern was broadcast over the police radio.

UniformedOCPDbike patrol officers located McGovern as he was attempting to leave the area in his vehicle.  Officers were able to get to McGovern while he was entering his vehicle; however a struggle took place inside the vehicle with officers on both the passenger and driver’s side.

During the struggle McGovern managed to start his car and put it in reverse, striking and dragging the bike officer who was on the driver’s side and just missing the officer who was on the passenger side.  The bike officer who was dragged on the driver’s side by McGovern’s vehicle eventually was able to escape by falling outside the vehicle and under the driver’s side door, which was still open.

McGovern then became involved in a short vehicular pursuit, before bailing out of his car on the west side of Coastal Highwayin the area of Marlin Drive.  Officers continued to pursue McGovern on foot and determined that he had jumped in the water way/canal in the area of 21st Street and the bay.

McGovern was tracked north to the 28th Street area byOCPD personnel, who were assisted by the Maryland State Police Aviation Unit, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Department of Natural Resources Marine Unit.

Police eventually located McGovern at4:38 a.m., in a condominium at 413AEagle Drive.  McGovern was taken into custody. As a result of McGovern’s actions oneOCPDbike patrol officer was injured and transported toAtlanticGeneralMedicalCenter.  The officer was treated for injuries to the hand and arm and released.

McGovern is being held at theOceanCityPublicSafetyBuildingand is awaiting an initial appearance before an Ocean City District Court Commissioner.

McGovern is being charged with the following:

–  2 Counts Distribution of a Controlled Dangerous Substance *(Marijuana and Ecstasy (MDMA)

–          Leaving the scene of a personal injury accident

–          1st Degree Assault

–          2nd Degree Assault

–          Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer

–          Resisting Arrest

–          Fleeing and Eluding

–          Reckless and Negligent Driving


During the evening ofJuly 12, 2011, Ocean City Police, in conjunction with Delaware State Police Troop Four’s Major Crimes Unit, concluded a serial “peeping-tom” investigation with the arrest of William Devon Jones, 44, ofWest Chester,Pennsylvania.  During the investigation Jones was observed riding his bicycle in the north end ofOceanCityand intoDelaware. While inDelaware, Jones was observed by detectives peeping into windows of three different apartments at a housing complex that bordersOceanCity. Jones rode back intoOceanCityand was also observed trespassing on private properties in the area.  Jones was taken into custody by Ocean City Police after a brief bicycle chase.

In addition to last night’s incident, Jones was wanted inDelawareandMaryland. Delawareauthorities had outstanding arrest warrants for Jones for trespassing with intent to “peer” or “peep.”  The charges rise out of three different incidents that occurred at the East of the Sun complex inFenwickIsland, during which Jones was observed looking into windows of the complex. Ocean City Police also wanted Jones for second-degree assault and fourth degree sex offense. TheMarylandcharges were brought when the Ocean City Police Department received a complaint in June 2011, at which time a subsequent criminal investigation took place and Jones was identified as the suspect.

Jones is being held on Delaware State Police arrest warrants and Ocean City Police arrest warrants. Additional charges are pending for Jones from both the Ocean City Police Department and Delaware State Police.

Jones is being held at the Ocean City Public Safety Building pending an initial appearance before an Ocean City District Court Commissioner. Ocean City Police are asking citizens who have any information regarding these incidents or any unreported incidents to please contact the Ocean City Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division, Detective Brett Case, at 410-723-6632.


The Ocean City Police Department is advising citizens to be aware of a potential employment scam.  This particular scam involves a victim attempting to gain employment, which in the most recent case was for a cleaning service in which all employment negotiations and correspondence were done through email.

The scam works as follows: the victim is offered employment and mailed a counterfeit “check” to cover the costs of the service provided.  In most cases the check is either drawn on an obscure corporate business account from what appears to be a legitimate bank or is a cashier’s check from a well known national bank. The victim is paid more money than was negotiated and asked to quickly deposit the “check” into the victim’s account.  Once the “check” is deposited into the victim’s account, the victim is asked to withdraw a portion of the money, and send it via “Western Union” to an additional location, usually as part of the way for the alleged “employer” to pay for additional services or transportation fees as means to avoid overseas fees and/or taxes. 

By the time the victim transfers actual funds the local bank where the original check was deposited notifies the victim that the check they deposited is fraudulent and that the money they withdrew and sent using “Western Union” is gone.  The result is the victim is responsible for the overdraft on the account even though the check is a fake and the victim is out the money.

What transpires is a crime of fraud and theft, however while it will be investigated it is very difficult to catch the perpetrators and unlikely the victim’s money will be recovered.  The OCPD recommends that persons do not engage in internet-based employment activities where the employer is not well known to the employee.  If you receive any money in the form of corporate or bank checks, you should allow them to fully clear your bank’s authentication and verification processes; this typically takes seven business days.  Do not send any money using wire transfer services as this is the tell-tale sign of a counterfeit check scam.

If you have been the victim of a scam please contact the police.  If you have been solicited for this type of scam, save your correspondence and contact your local police department.  The OCPD advises citizens to never provide your personal banking account information and/or personal identification information including birthday, social security number to anyone over the internet.


 Ocean City Police are asking for the public’s assistance in locating a missing teen.  Tabitha Williams, 15, was reported missing to the Ocean City Police Department onJune 28, 2011. 

Williams, who was reported missing by her foster mother, has black shoulder length hair, hazel eyes and was last seen wearing a yellow colored tank top with denim shorts.  Williams resides inCalifornia, however was inOceanCityfor vacation.  It is believed that she may be attempting to travel back toCalifornia.

Ocean City Police are asking anyone with information about Williams location to contact Detective Nick Simpson with the Ocean City Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division at 410.520.5349.