Monthly Archives: April 2012

BIKES TO BEACH EVENT COINCIDES WITH MAY’S MOTORCYCLE SAFETY AWARENESS MONTH; OCPD REMINDING MOTORISTS TO “SHARE THE ROAD”

This weekend thousands of motorcyclists are anticipated to visit OceanCity, as the 2nd Annual Bikes to the Beach Spring Rally is scheduled to begin on Thursday, April 26.  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” with each other and be extra alert to keep motorcyclists safe.

Motorcycles are vehicles with the same rights and privileges as any motor vehicle on the roadway.  Motorists and bicyclists should perform visual checks for motorcyclists by checking mirrors and blind spots before they enter or exit a lane of traffic, and at intersections.  In addition, pedestrians should also get into the habit of scanning for motorcyclists who might be hidden by other traffic.

“As summer nears and special events such as Bikes to the Beach are held, more and more motorcyclists will be hitting the roads inOceanCity,” said Ocean City Police Chief Bernadette DiPino.  “A motorcycle is one of the smallest vehicles on our roads, often hidden in a vehicle’s blind spot.  Every driver needs to aggressively look for them before changing lanes or merging with 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 have responsibilities too,” continued Chief DiPino.  “Motorcyclists should obey all traffic rules, be alert to drivers and pedestrians, never ride while impaired or distracted and always wear a helmet.” 

In order to help keep motorcyclists safe inOceanCity, the Ocean City Police Department would like to offer the following tips:

  • Remember, a motorcycle is a vehicle with all of the rights and privileges of any other motor vehicle.
  • 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.
  • Don’t be fooled by a flashing turn signal on a mo­torcycle – motorcycle signals are often not self-canceling and riders sometimes forget to turn them off. Wait to be sure the motorcycle is going to turn before you proceed.
  • 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.
  • Never drive while distracted.

In addition, motorcyclists can increase their safety by:

  • Avoiding riding in poor weather conditions.
  • Wearing brightly colored protective gear and a DOT-compliant helmet.
  • Using turn signals for every turn or lane change, even if the rider thinks no one will see it.
  • Combining hand signals and turn signals to draw more attention to themselves.
  • Using reflective tape and stickers to increase visibility.
  • Positioning themselves in the lane where they will be most visible to other drivers.
  • Never driving 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.”

OCPD PARTICIPATING IN OPERATION MEDICINE DROP

The Ocean City Police Department, in partnership with the Assateague Coastal Trust, Berlin Police Department, Worcester County Sheriff’s Office and Worcester County Health Department will be participating in “Operation Medicine Drop,” a one day medication take-back effort to be held on Saturday, April 28, 2012.

“Operation Medicine Drop is a bi-annual Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) federal program in conjunction with state and local law enforcement to encourage citizens to properly dispose of their prescription drugs,” commented Chief Bernadette DiPino. “The objective is to get unwanted, unused and expired prescription medication out of people’s cabinets and off of the streets.”

The Maryland Executive Board Members of the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators (NADDI) has hailed this effort as a success in keeping unwanted and unused prescription drugs out of the hands of persons who shouldn’t have them as well as out of Maryland coastal bays and waterways.  Citizens are urged to not flush their medication or throw them away.  Disposing of medication properly prevents the medication from entering waterways and landfills.

There will be six drop off locations in WorcesterCounty: Ocean City Public Safety Building, 6501 Coastal Hwy,OceanCity, Food Lion, Rt. 611,WestOceanCity, Berlin Police Department, 10 Williams St., Food Lion, Manklin Creek Rd, Ocean Pines, Worcester County Health Dept., Public Landing Rd., Snow Hill, Pocomoke Health Center, 400-A Walnut St.

This program was considered a success last October, yielding over 100 pounds of prescription medication in Worcester County.   The program is free and confidential.  If you have any questions, please contact the OCPD Public Affairs Office at 410-723-6665.

OCEAN CITY POLICE VISIT WORCESTER PREP UPPER SCHOOL TO DISCUSS PROM SAFETY

Ocean City Police Sergeant Dennis Eade recently spoke to a room full of upper school students at Worcester Preparatory School about a number of precautions they can take to ensure that they are safe during prom weekend.  The April 19th presentation included a variety of subjects, including how students can avoid getting arrested, how to prevent dangerous and tragic situations and how making the right choices will result in a weekend full of wonderful memories instead of a troubled or disastrous situation. 

Pictured: Nancy Decker, Head of Worcester Preparatory Upper School, junior Henry Hastings, senior Kaitlin Talbot and OCPD Sgt. Dennis Eade all sign the pledge to drive phone-free.

“I am thankful to Worcester Preparatory School for inviting me here,” commented Sgt. Eade.  “Not only does it give me the opportunity to discuss prom safety and tips about how to avoid drinking and drugs, but it also allows me to discuss the importance of their future and how the decisions they make today will affect them tomorrow.  If I am able to get that message through to at least one student then I think the presentation is worthwhile.”

In addition to impaired driving information, the Ocean City Police Department discussed distracted driving with Worcester Preparatory students.  “The under-20 age group has the greatest proportion of distracted drivers,” said Sgt. Eade.  “Of all drivers younger than 20 involved in fatal crashes, 16 percent were reported to have been distracted while driving.  This is a problem and I am hoping that Worcester students will help be part of the solution.”

As part of National Distracted Driving Prevention Month, nearly 100 students from Worcester Preparatory Upper School signed the OCPD pledge to drive phone free. “By signing the pledge, these students are not only setting an example amongst their peers but they are being leaders of the fight to end distracted driving,” Eade continued.  “They are protecting lives and making our community safer by never texting or talking on the phone while driving.”

The Ocean City Police Department is encouraging citizens to fight to end distracted driving and take the pledge to drive phone free.  To find out more information or to find out how to sign the pledge, visit:  http://ocpdmdinfo.blogspot.com.

OCEAN CITY POLICE SEEKING PUBLIC’S ASSISTANCE LOCATING MISSING MAN

Ocean City Police are asking for the public’s assistance in locating a missing 22-year-old man.  Lance Corey Gaines, who was visiting Ocean City with his family from upstate New York, was last seen on April 21, 2012at approximately 1 a.m.at The Sandbar on33rd Street and Coastal Highway.

Gaines, who was reported missing by his family, has brown hair, blue eyes and was last seen wearing a grey hooded sweatshirt.  He is approximately 6’-4” and approximately 190 pounds.

Ocean City Police are asking anyone who has seen Gaines or who has had contact with him to notify Detective Carl Perry with the Ocean City Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division at 410.723.6604.

PEDESTRIAN STRUCK ON COASTAL HIGHWAY

On April 20, 2012, at approximately 12:15 a.m., Ocean City police responded to the area of 33rd Street and Coastal Highway for a vehicle collision involving a pedestrian.  The pedestrian, a 23-year-old man from Ocean City, was attempting to cross Coastal Highway from east to west, when he was struck by a northbound vehicle. 

The pedestrian, who was not in a crosswalk at the time of the collision, was transported by Ocean City Emergency Services to Peninsula Regional Medical Center for non-life threatening injuries.  Currently no charges have been filed against the pedestrian or the driver; however, the investigation is on-going.

The Ocean City Police Department is reminding citizens to use marked crosswalks while crossing the street.  Pedestrians should not take unnecessary risks crossing busy streets against traffic lights.  In addition, pedestrians are encouraged to make eye contact with drivers and continue to watch for traffic the entire time you are in the crosswalk.  Motorists should also be extremely vigilant while driving, keeping constantly aware of pedestrians, bicycles, mopeds and scooters.

TRAFFIC DELAYS EXPECTED ON APRIL 22 FOR INAUGURAL KOMEN MARYLAND OCEAN CITY RACE FOR THE CURE

The Ocean City Police Department is reminding citizens to expect traffic delays on the morning of Sunday, April 22, 2012, as participants in the Inaugural Komen Maryland Ocean City Race for the Cure fill the streets of downtown Ocean City.  The race, which will feature a 5k run/walk and a 1-mile “Family Fun” walk, will begin at Somerset Streetand continue northbound along the Boardwalk. 

The inlet lot, which will host the “RaceVillage,” will be closed to all traffic from 7:30 a.m.until 11a.m.  Northbound traffic on Baltimore Avenue will be restricted to one lane from the inlet to 9th Street and will be closed to all traffic from 9th Street to 15th Street.  All northbound traffic from 9th Street will be directed toPhiladelphia Avenue. 

Residents and visitors are likely to see traffic delays on eastbound route 50 as early as7 a.m.and should expect congestion until after12 p.m.  Citizens should consider using alternate routes into OceanCityduring these times in order to avoid traffic delays.  In addition, heavy pedestrian traffic is expected along the race route and in surrounding areas.

The Ocean City Police Department is reminding pedestrians to use marked crosswalks while crossing the street.  Pedestrians should not take unnecessary risks crossing busy streets against traffic lights.  In addition, pedestrians are encouraged to make eye contact with drivers and continue to watch for traffic the entire time you are in the crosswalk.  Motorists should also be extremely vigilant while driving, keeping constantly aware of race participants, spectators, pedestrians, bicycles, mopeds and scooters.

OCPD RECOGNIZES NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH COORDINATOR FOR 35 YEARS OF SERVICE

After 35 years of dedicated service, Ocean City Police Neighborhood Watch Coordinator, Mary Cascio, was recognized on Tuesday before the Mayor and City Council.  Presenting Mrs. Cascio with a certificate of appreciate on behalf of the Ocean City Police Department was Ocean City Police Chief Bernadette DiPino.

“It is my pleasure to recognize Mrs. Cascio for her dedicated service to the Ocean City Police Department and theOceanCitycommunity,” Chief DiPino said.  “The OCPD would like to take this opportunity to not only recognize but to sincerely thank Mrs. Cascio for her diligence, dedication and outstanding service to the residents and visitors of OceanCity.” 

Mary Cascio began her Neighborhood Watch career over 35 years ago at the request of then OCPD Major Stephen Cropper.  Since then, Mrs. Cascio has bore witness toOceanCity’s evolution as a premier resort community.  She has been both a business and property owner and a staunch supporter of the public safety. 

“Mrs. Cascio is the current area coordinator for the Edgewater Avenue Neighborhood Watch Association, however some would say she is the area coordinator for the entire south end, as she seems to always have a handle on what’s going on downtown,” Chief DiPino said. “Over the past three decades, Mrs. Cascio has been the “eyes and ears” on the bay side of Ocean City and her efforts have led officers to numerous suspicious persons and criminals operating in and around Ocean City’s downtown.  We are extremely grateful for her commitment to public safety and her support of the Ocean City Police Department.”

PEDESTRIAN STRUCK ON COASTAL HIGHWAY

On April 7, 2012, at approximately 5:45 p.m., Ocean City police responded to the area of 81st Street and Coastal Highway for a vehicle collision involving a pedestrian.  The pedestrian, a 47-year-old man from Lititz, PA, was attempting to cross Coastal Highway from east to west, when he was struck by a northbound vehicle.

The pedestrian, who was not in a crosswalk at the time of the collision, was taken by Maryland State Police helicopter to Peninsula Regional Medical Center for non-life threatening injuries.  The driver of the vehicle, who police learned was driving with a suspended and revoked license, was identified as John Edward Cropper, 47, of Ocean City. 

Cropper was arrested and charged with operating a motor vehicle on a revoked license.  He was seen by an Ocean City District Court Commissioner and released on his own personal recognizance.  Currently no charges have been filed against the pedestrian; however, the investigation is on-going.

The Ocean City Police Department is reminding citizens to use marked crosswalks while crossing the street.  Pedestrians should not take unnecessary risks crossing busy streets against traffic lights.  In addition, pedestrians are encouraged to make eye contact with drivers and continue to watch for traffic the entire time you are in the crosswalk.  Motorists should also be extremely vigilant while driving, keeping constantly aware of pedestrians, bicycles, mopeds and scooters.

OCEAN CITY POLICE K-9’S GRADUATE FROM TRAINING

The Ocean City Police Department’s two new K-9 teams recently graduated from a multi-week training program at Castle K-9 training facility in centralPennsylvania. Both PFC

New OCPD K9 Teams

New OCPD K9 Teams

Daniel Jacobsand K-9 partner Jaxx and PFC Michael Kellyand K-9 partner Koda are currently certified by the North American Police Work Dog Association as patrol and drug detection police K-9’s.  They join an elite group of canine patrol teams, which are an integral part of the Ocean City Police Department.

Jaxx, a 14-month-old Sheppard-Malawa mix and Koda, a 12-month old Sheppard mix, are specially trained and come to the Ocean City Police Department from Czechoslovakia, where they received specialized training for law enforcement duties.  In addition to their training in Czechoslovakia, the K-9s and their partners received additional patrol/narcotics schooling, which develops the capabilities and physical conditioning of both the handler and K-9 alike.  Upon completion of their training both K9 teams were certified by the North American Police Working Dog Association and the Maryland Police and Corrections Training Commission.

“This unit has been a vital part of the OCPD for more than four decades,” said Chief Bernadette DiPino.  “I am confident that the two new K9 teams will contribute to the long standing tradition of excellence associated with this specialty unit. I as well as every member of the OCPD look forward to working with our new K9 partners.”

Once on patrol, the new K-9 teams are authorized to respond to calls for service, and are often among the first specialized units to be called to a scene.  Their specific skills, including apprehension techniques, obedience, narcotics detection, searching and tracking, are a critical asset to the Ocean City Police Department. In addition to their duties and responsibilities on the road, K-9 units participate in continual training, community events and public relations functions, self-initiated patrol and/or rendering assistance to state and county law enforcement patrols in the Ocean City area.

 

OCPD CHARGES MAN WITH DRUNK DRIVING AFTER HE DRIVES VEHICLE INTO RESIDENCE

On Sunday, April 1, 2012, at approximately 7:36 p.m., Ocean City Police responded to 90th Street and Coastal Highway for a vehicle collision.  When officers arrived at the scene, they observed a 2002 BMW, which had crashed through an iron fence and struck a residence.

Charles Allen Fogel

Charles Allen Fogel

The initial investigation revealed that the driver, who was later identified as Charles Allen Fogel, 29, of Bethelem, PA, was traveling northbound on Coastal High way when he attempted to turn southbound.  During the turn, Fogel ran into a metal fence before striking the brick stoop of the residence and stopped his vehicle.  Fogel, who was not injured during the accident, was arrested and charged with the following traffic violations:

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol Per Se
  • Driving while impaired by alcohol, reckless driving, negligent driving
  • Driver failure to obey properly placed traffic control device
  • Driver making improper turn at intersection
  • Failure to control vehicle speed on hwy. to avoid a collision
  • Driver failure to obey designated lane directions
  • Driving vehicle on sidewalk and sidewalk area where prohibited

After being seen by an Ocean City District Court Commissioner, Fogel was released on his own personal recognizance.