Ocean City Police Chief Responds to ‘Appalling Behavior’ During H2Oi Weekend


To the citizens of Ocean City:

Ocean City is a vibrant tourist destination known for our beautiful beaches, family friendly events, great dining and amenities, and our safe, clean community. Tourism is the foundation of our economy and we pride ourselves on welcoming everyone to enjoy our beautiful city. At the same time, we expect our guests to respect our town, our citizens, and our laws and ordinances.

Unfortunately, this weekend brought visitors with much different intentions. While H2O International is not, and has never been, a city-hosted or sanctioned event and was officially cancelled this year, we still hosted thousands of participants. There were a handful of visitors this weekend who came to simply enjoy our city. Unfortunately, it was the vast majority of the participants that quickly ruined it for everyone, with unruly behavior and zero respect for our laws and property. The isolated incidents of violence combined with heavy traffic, littler, rude behavior, and negligent driving cast a very negative view over the whole weekend.

Considering the number of unruly visitors, I believe our officers, together with partner agencies, including the Maryland State Police, Maryland Transportation Authority, and sheriff’s officers from Worcester, Wicomico and Queen Anne’s counties, did an outstanding job of preventing events from escalating even further. I am extremely proud to have witnessed the level of professionalism displayed by our officers in the face of such adversity.

Based on preliminary reports:

It was very discouraging, to say the least, to see the amount of destruction to our town and the appalling behavior of many visitors. From trash throughout parking lots to tire markings at many intersections, our Public Works crews have worked diligently to restore the beauty of our town. We express our sincerest thanks to them for their efforts.

We understand our residents’ concerns about the events that occurred over the weekend and assure you that we share those concerns. While we assess the weekend and consider actions to take moving forward, it is critically important that we not allow one weekend to take away from what Ocean City is: a safe, beautiful, and clean place where families live and visit.

Ross Buzzuro, Chief of Police