On Tuesday, January 29, 2013, the Neighborhood Watch Associations from Ocean City

5 of 6 finalists for the OC Neighborhood Watch Officer of the Year – Pictured from left to right: PFC Danny Jacobs, CPL James Runkles, PFC Kevin Flower, (Winner of the 2012 OFC of The Year PFC Chris Snyder), CPL Rick Wawrzeniak, Not pictured DFC Kyle Murray.

gathered at the Roland E. Powell Convention Center in the new Bay front Ballroom for their annual “Officer of the Year” recognition dinner.  Nearly 170 guests attended the event, including Council President Lloyd Martin, Council Secretary Mary Knight, Council Member Margaret Pillas, Council Member Dough Cymek, Council member Dennis Dare and Council Member Joe Mitrecic. 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 Police Officer First Class (PFC) Christopher Snyder was selected to be the honorable recipient of the prestigious Ocean City Neighborhood Watch Association’s 2012 “Officer of the Year” award. Also nominated for the 2012 “Officer of the Year” award were Ocean City Police Detective First Class (DFC) Kyle Murray, PFC Daniel Jacobs, Corporal James Runkles, PFC Kevin Flower, and Corporal Rick Wawrzeniak.

“Im speechless,” stated Snyder after be named the winner.  “I never expected to win especially considering the company Im in.”  Snyder is from Canton Ohio, where he graduated from Perry High School in 2001. Upon graduation, he worked as a seasonal cadet with the OCPD and was hired as a full time cadet in 2003.  In 2004 Snyder was hired full-time as a police officer.  His educational background includes an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Wor-Wic Community College. He is a domestic violence investigator, a patrol crime scene technician and the Bayshore Drive neighborhood watch liaison officer.  He is active in the pursuit of wanted individuals in Ocean City and is currently assigned to the Patrol Division’s Evening Watch. During his career, Snyder has received awards for meritorious service, excellent police performance awards and was nominated three times for office of the year.


 “It was a tremendous honor just being nominated and I am very grateful to be recognized by our citizens,” Snyder continued. “I want to thank my fellow officers who are like my family. This is a great community and I am fortunate to not only work here but to also live in town.  Every resident, especially the neighborhood watch members, is an incredible resource to the Ocean City Police Department.  We truly are a partnership and we could not accomplish all we do without their support.”


Also recognized during the ceremony was long time neighborhood watch member Dan Donatelli. Donatelli was recognized for his ten years of service with the Montego Bay Neighborhood Watch Association, during which he has served as the Area Coordinator for the group.

Additional employees from the OCPD were also recognized for promotions and commendations.  Receiving recognition for promotions were:

  • Police Officer First Class: Joseph Zurla.
  • Corporals: James Runkles, Todd Speigle, Vance Row and Allen Hawk.
  • Sergeants: Shawn Jones and Frank Wrench
  • Lieutenant: Howard Whaley

Receiving special commendations for distinguishing him/herself by performing extraordinary physical acts or renders life saving techniques to aid in the preservation of a human life were:

  • PFC Vicki Martin (Special Commendation)                           
  • CPL Richard Wawrzeniak (Special Commendation)           
  • PFC Daniel Jacobs (Special Commendation)        
  • PFC Shawn Lindsey (Special Commendation)
  • PFC Kevin Flower (Special Commendation)
  • DFC Justin Hoban (Special Commendation)
  • PFC James Runkles (Excellent Performance)
  • Officer Kory Moerschel (Excellent Performance)              
  • Officer Richard Gutowski (Excellent Performance)                                          
  • Officer Patrick Flynn (Excellent Performance)    
  • CPL Joseph Bushnell (Excellent Performance)
  • CPL Brett Case (Excellent Performance)
  • CPL Allen Hawk (Excellent Performance)                              
  • PFC Christopher Snyder (Excellent Performance)                             
  • Officer Trevor Greenawalt (Excellent Performance)                       
  • Officer Nicholas Forsyth (Meritorious Service)                   
  • Lt. Richard Moreck (Meritorious Service)                                             
  • PFC Aaron Morgan (Meritorious Service)
  • PFC Christopher Snyder (Meritorious Service)   
  • Corporal Mark Wolinsky (Meritorious Service)   
  • Lieutenant Mark Pacini (Meritorious Service)     
  • Detective Thomas Geoghegan   (Bronze Star)
  • CPL Charles Kelley (Bronze Star)                                               
  • Sgt. Dennis Eade (Silver Star)                                     

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.  In addition, the OCPD is 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.