Monthly Archives: January 2014


Little_Alex(January 31, 2014) – On January 31, 2014, at approximately 2:40 a.m. Ocean City police officers were on marked patrol in the area of Coastal Highway and 100th Street they observed a vehicle traveling southbound at a high rate of speed. Police attempted to initiate a traffic stop in the area of 62nd Street after officers observed the vehicle exceeding the posted speed limit, however; the driver of the vehicle did not stop.

The driver, later identified as Alex Ryan Little, 24, of Dover, DE, continued to travel southbound on Philadelphia Avenue until the vehicle failed to negotiate the turn at N. Division Street, struck the center median and collided with an electrical box. The electrical box caught on fire and power was briefly disrupted to the south end of Ocean City. Traffic on route 50 was also disrupted, as officers closed eastbound and westbound movement for approximately 30 minutes due to the collision.

Little was arrested by Ocean City police and charged with two counts of driving while under the influence, driving while impaired by alcohol, eluding uniformed police, and negligent and reckless driving in addition to multiple traffic citations.

Neither Little nor any officers were injured during this incident. Alcohol was determined to be a factor. Little was seen by a Maryland District Court Commissioner and released on $25,000 bond.



Super-Bowl-2014-Denver-Broncos-vs-Seattle-Seahawks(January 28, 2014) – The Super Bowl is one of America’s most highly anticipated sports events, when friends and family gather in homes, bars and restaurants to celebrate. As Super Bowl Sunday approaches and football fans across Maryland prepare for the game, the Ocean City Police Department has joined in the statewide push to spread the message about designating a sober driver on Super Bowl Sunday, because – Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk.

“There is absolutely no reason to get behind the wheel after drinking,” began Ocean City Police Chief Ross Buzzuro. “If you will be drinking, make a plan to get home safely before you go out. Designate a sober driver before the party begins, call a cab or arrange to stay where the party is occurring.”

According to Maryland crash data, an average of 175 people have lost their lives in each of the past five years to alcohol-related crashes. Nationally, 9,878 people were killed in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes in 2011 (the last year of complete national data) and those crashes were 31 percent more likely to occur on weekends than on weekdays.

If you’re attending a Super Bowl party or watching the game at a sports bar or restaurant:

  • Designate your sober driver, or plan another way to get home safely before the party      begins.
  • If you don’t have a designated driver, then ask a sober friend for a ride home; call a cab, friend, or family member to come and get you; or just stay for the night.
  • Never let friends drive if they have had too much to drink.

If you’re hosting a Super Bowl party:

  • Make sure all your guests designate a sober driver in advance, or arrange for alternate transportation to ensure they get home safely.
  • Serve food and include non-alcoholic beverages at the party.
  • Stop serving alcohol at the end of the third quarter of the game and begin serving coffee and dessert.
  • Keep the numbers for local cab companies handy, and take the keys away from anyone who has had too much to drink.

And remember, your seat belt is your best defense against a drunk driver in a crash.

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(January 29CrimeTip_WooboxLink, 2014) – The Ocean City Police Department recently revitalized the town’s crime tip hotline by making it easier to find and understand for the citizens of Ocean City. Ocean City residents can now call one number to report a tip about crime – 410-520-5136. Residents also have the option to share tips through email at The crime tip hotline information can be found on our departmental website at as well as on our departmental Facebook and Twitter pages.   Any information provided through our hotline is held strictly confidential.

“We strongly encourage anyone that has any suspicions or concerns that there may be criminal activity in their area to call 410-520-5136 or email,” said Ocean City Police Chief Ross Buzzuro. “Tips that we receive can often be valuable information for our detectives.”

Citizens are reminded that if information to be shared is time sensitive, please call 911 for an immediate response.



(January 27, 2014) – With summer quickly approaching, the Ocean City Police Department is reminding citizens to be cautious while using the internet to search for vacation rentals. While popular websites can be a valuable tool in finding reasonable vacation rentals, consumers need to beware of scammers who are posing as property owners.

Some of the most consistent “red flags” associated with rental scams are demonstrated through poor grammar, spelling errors, poor capitalization and punctuation on any online material. In addition, if a vacation rental owner does not accept credit cards as a form of payment, they should almost always accept a personal check. Most scammers will only take cashier’s checks or ask money to be wired to a specific account.  Lastly, you should be cautious of a property owner who is hesitant or unwilling to provide additional information in regards to the rental property, such as amenities or photographs.

As a renter you should take additional steps to assure the owner and rental properties are legitimate. There are several tips you should remember to avoid being a victim of an online rental scam. First, do not wire money to a suspected landlord and remember, regardless how convincing the tale, make sure the person renting the house to you actually owns it. Also, verify where you will go and who you will see to pick up the rental key. Make sure that the person and location is valid. Finally, if you have any suspicious concerns, follow your instinct. Even if you have to pay a fee, you are often safer dealing with a licensed real estate agent.



(January 23DrugTakeBack, 2014) – The Ocean City Public Safety Building lobby has housed a permanent 24-hour drug drop-box since May of 2012. In 2013, 243 pounds of unused and unwanted medications, including controlled pain medications, depressants and stimulants, were turned in to the drop box. These turned-in medications have a street value of nearly $25,000.

Another permanent drug take back drop box is located at the Ocean Pines Police Department. Combined, the two drop boxes yielded a total of 657 pounds of medication containing 12,598 controlled pills having a street value of $70,592.

“The drop box was donated to the Ocean City Police Department in May 2012 by the Ocean City Elks Lodge and has served as a safe place for citizens to bring their unused and unwanted medications ensuring that the medications never end up on the streets of Ocean City,” said OCPD Chief Ross Buzzuro. “We strongly encourage citizens to take their unwanted medications to the drop box and not flush their medication or throw them away. Disposing of medication properly prevents the medication from entering our waterways and landfills.”

The Maryland Executive Board members of the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators (NADDI) have hailed this effort as a success in keeping unwanted and unused prescription drugs out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them as well as out of Maryland coastal bays and waterways.

If you have any questions or would like more information about this free and confidential program, please contact the OCPD Public Affairs Office at: 410-520-5395.





(January 9, 2014) – The Ocean City Police Department is mourning the loss of veteran police K9, Tacko, who passed away on December 2, 2013. Tacko, originally from the Czech Republic, joined the police department in early 2005 after attending ten weeks of basic police K9 training with his partner, Pfc. Kevin Flower. He retired in November of 2012.

Tacko was certified eight times by the North American Police Working Dog Association (NAPWDA) and the National Law Enforcement Canine Organization (NLECO). During his distinguished police career with the OCPD, Tacko had over 1500 deployments, which include building and vehicle searches, searches for suspects as well as open field searches for evidence resulting in the detection and recovery of illegal contraband and the arrests of hundreds of suspects.  In addition, Tacko has assisted other Maryland law enforcement agencies, the US Air Force and US Customs Service with drug interdiction and detection.

In a press release announcing Tacko’s retirement, Pfc. Flower said, “I really believe he put a smile on everyone’s face that he encountered. Tacko attended numerous shift roll-calls and greeted every officer he could.”.

The Ocean City Fraternal Order of Police and the Ocean City Police Department recently presented Pfc. Flower with a commemorative urn and recognized Tacko’s accomplishments at the 2013 Neighborhood Watch Officer of the Year Banquet on January 7, 2014. “He worked so hard for so many officers,” Flower continued. “He was the best partner an officer could ever hope to have and he will be truly missed.”




From L to R: Lt. Mark Pacini, Ofc. Daniel McBride, Cpl. James Runkles, Lt. Scott Harner and Cpl. Allen Hawk

(January 8, 2014) – On Tuesday, January 7, 2014, the Neighborhood Watch Associations of Ocean City gathered at the Roland E. Powell Convention Center Bayfront Ballroom for their annual “Officer of the Year” recognition dinner.  Nearly 140 guests attended the event, including Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan and all seven city council members. Also in attendance were OCPD employees, Ocean City residents and members of the eight Neighborhood Watch Associations in Ocean City, which consist of the Boardwalk Association, Bayshore Drive Association, Caine Keys II Association, Caine Woods Association, Edgewater Avenue Association, Little Salisbury Association, Montego Bay Association and Sundowner Park Association.

Ocean City Corporal (Cpl.) James Runkles was selected to be the honorable recipient of the Ocean City Neighborhood Watch Association’s 2013 “Officer of the Year” award. Also nominated were Ocean City Police Lieutenant Scott Harner, Lieutenant Mark Pacini, Corporal Allen Hawk, and Officer Daniel McBride.

Runkles is originally from Baltimore, MD. He served our country in the United States Marine Corps from 1999 until 2004, where he deployed to the theater of operations during Operation Enduring Freedom and again in Africa. Cpl. Runkles began his OCPD career in 2007 and has been assigned to the patrol division since his start. He was promoted to Police Officer First Class in 2010 and Corporal in 2012. Cpl. Runkles became a K-9 officer in March of 2011. He and his K-9 partner, “Breki,” have been instrumental in the seizure of narcotics, weapons and suspects. As an OCPD officer, Cpl. Runkles has received an Excellent Police Performance commendation, a Unit Citation, a Bronze Star and was recognized by the OC Elks Lodge as their Ocean City Law Enforcement Officer of the Year in 2010.

Also recognized during the ceremony were the members of the Ocean City Police Department and Neighborhood Watch groups that passed away in 2013. The families of officers Joshua Adickes, Thomas Geoghegan and Animal Control Officer Donald Spence received memorial items from Chief Ross Buzzuro and Ocean City Fraternal Order of Police. OCPD K-9 officer, Pfc. Kevin Flower, was also given a commemorative urn from his former partner “Tacko” who passed away this year. Finally, Dan Donatelli and Dorothy “Dot” Healey were also remembered as dedicated members of their Neighborhood Watch groups for many years.

Numerous officers received commendations for distinguishing themselves by going above and beyond what is normally required during various incidents that occurred throughout 2013.  These officers were awarded through unit citations, awards of excellent performance and meritorious services. Lastly, six employees from the OCPD were also recognized for promotions.

Receiving recognition for promotions were:

  • Police Officer First Class: Joshua Adickes, Amy      Gutowski, Richard Gutowski, Justin Hoban and Christopher Wrench
  • Sergeant: Charles “Josh” Kelley

“The Ocean City Police Department would like to thank the citizens of Ocean City and the eight Neighborhood Watch Associations for taking their time to recognize the officers of the OCPD at last night’s event,” said Ocean City Police Chief Ross Buzzuro.  “We are extremely thankful for the time these citizens take throughout the year to maintain the very special partnership that exists between the citizens of Ocean City and their police. We are lucky to live in a community with an outstanding police department and extraordinary residents. It’s a great team!”



bus_safety(January 3, 2014) – With the holiday vacation ending and Worcester County students heading back to school on January 6, the Ocean City Police Department would like to remind motorists to be cautious while traveling. Motorists should do their part to keep children safe while they are getting on and off school busses.

Citizens are reminded that school bus pick-up and drop-off times may vary, however; citizens can generally expect to see busses on the road between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. then again between 2:45 p.m. and 4 p.m. While on Coastal Highway, motorists traveling in the same direction as a school bus must stop when the bus activates flashing red lights.

“Additional OCPD patrols are continuously assigned to enforce school bus safety each school day,” said Ocean City Police Chief Ross Buzzuro. “Drivers are reminded slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods and school zones. Also, take extra time to look for children at intersections, on medians and curbs. Children should remember to stay off the street while waiting for the bus and wait for the bus driver’s signal before crossing in front of the bus.”