Cpl. Wawrzeniak pictured with members of the Knights of Columbus and Ocean City Police Captain Kevin Kirstein

The Ocean City Knights of Columbus held their annual award ceremony onWednesday, January 18, 2012.  Among their top honors, such as Firefighter of the Year,EMTof the Year, Teacher of the Year and Couple of the Year, the Knights of Columbus awarded Ocean City Cpl. Richard Wawrzeniak with the prestigious title of Officer of the Year.

“I am extremely proud of Cpl. Wawrzeniak,” said Chief Bernadette DiPino.  “He demonstrates the high qualities and standards expected of an Ocean City Police Officer. He is a hero”


Cpl. Wawrzeniak is from Bowie, MD. He joined the OCPD full time in 1999, after two summers as a seasonal officer. He is an active member of the department’s Bike Unit and Quick Response Team.  He is currently assigned to the Patrol Division’s evening watch.

In addition to being named “2011 Officer of the Year” by the Knights of Columbus,  Cpl. Wawrzeniak was recently a finalist for the Neighborhood Watch Officer of the Year and received a Silver Star for his quick and decisive action on December 10, 2010 when he witnessed Marvin Mitchell  assaulting his wife with a knife. Cpl Wawrzeniak neutralized Mitchell by gunfire, saving the life of four persons.

“I am deeply honored to receive this award,” Cpl. Wawrzeniak said.    It really has been a special year for me.  I’m proud to be a part of such a professional organization.  Our officers strive to give their best each and every day. I would like to thank Chief DiPino, all my fellow officers, and my family for their support; and of course, the Knights of Columbus for this award.”