OCEAN CITY, Md. — The city of Ocean Metropolis remains to be reeling from practically two weeks of violent incidents, and residents let the City Council know Monday evening that they need solutions.
Through the council’s often scheduled assembly, residents spoke to the council nearly concerning the recent violence, made their issues identified and questioned what the city was doing about it.
In response, Ocean Metropolis leaders promised motion and the city’s police chief assured the Ocean Metropolis Police Division is doing all the pieces it might probably to guard the general public.
“We notice we’re caught within the good storm for some motive this yr,” mentioned Ocean Metropolis Mayor Rick Meehan. “Effectively, I feel everyone knows a variety of the explanations and (Councilman Gehrig) mentioned we might discuss concerning the causes, however what we actually have to have is a few options.”
Heading into the June, the city anticipated to be busy by way of regulation enforcement motion, however they did not anticipate a “June on steroids,” Meehan mentioned.
Ocean Metropolis reopened its seashore and Boardwalk in early Could after practically two months of being closed on the native stage because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, there have been issues about crowds gathering in town within the midst of a contagious outbreak and now concerning the city’s security.
Ocean Metropolis companies had been hit exhausting by pandemic closures and restrictions, with some limits nonetheless in impact throughout Maryland’s stage 2 of reopening.
Companies had been anxious for the return of customers because the vacationer season returned. But some are selecting to limit their hours and others have thought-about closing because of the recent stabbings and Boardwalk fights.
Shifting ahead, Meehan pointed to a number of modifications the city might make, together with honoring the police division’s request for added full-time law enforcement officials.
OCPD had requested the council for a further 10 officers, and Meehan referred to as on the council to honor it, even when it meant adjusting the city’s funds shifting ahead.
To deal with points the city faces this yr, a curfew could not have labored, Meehan mentioned. The concept although might presumably work subsequent yr, or throughout this fall with unofficial H2Oi automobile lovers gathering.
Ocean Metropolis additionally must work with its enterprise neighborhood to search out options, Meehan mentioned. Such a partnership has been very profitable with H2Oi, and Meehan thinks it may be a part of the answer on the elevated crime in June.
“No one needs to listen to as they name a variety of lip service. We do not need to give lip service,” Meehan mentioned. “Typically we hesitate to say one thing if we all know we won’t again it up. I feel it is time for us to again all the pieces up.”
After the council’s assembly, OCPD supplied Delmarva Now extra particulars concerning the violence depicted in social media movies from the weekend.
OCPD officers pulled over a automobile Saturday within the space of Dolphin Avenue and Philadelphia Avenue that was transporting a sufferer who had been stabbed, based on an e mail from Ashley Miller, OCPD deputy communications supervisor. The sufferer was flown to Peninsula Regional Medical Heart, and that individual’s standing was unknown late Monday evening.
The incident stays underneath investigation.
OCPD denied utilizing tear fuel or concussion grenades at any incident all through final week, Miller wrote. In just one case was a person pepper sprayed for being “uncooperative” whereas being arrested, she wrote.
“With reference to tear fuel getting used, social media could possibly be referring to the ‘vacate’ substance we use to disperse giant crowds,” Miller mentioned. “This can be a biodegradable product that has a foul odor that lingers.”
The product, produced from “meals elements,” is much like a skunk spray, Miller wrote, and its intention is to make use of the pungent spell to drive folks out of an space.
Ocean Metropolis Police Chief Ross Buzzuro additionally spoke of transparency when addressing the council Monday evening.
The general public deserves to know extra about who’s been arrested and what’s occurred within the final two weeks, Buzzuro mentioned, and it is on OCPD to get that data out.
“I can let you know that we’re given 110% within the police power,” Buzzuro mentioned. “We made nearly 130 arrests over the past 4 days. We put plenty of officers and employees on the road that rival a serious metropolis like Baltimore.”
In lots of circumstances these being arrested and charged with severe crimes aren’t highschool college students, Buzzuro mentioned. Most are of their 20s and 30s.
June is the normal time for graduating highschool seniors from Mid-Atlantic states to go to the seashore city.
The chief acknowledged June crime and H2Oi week are the division’s “Achilles’ heel” and have been very damaging to the city, Buzzuro mentioned.
H2Oi is a social media-driven gathering that pulls 1000’s of automobile fanatic and brings quite a few disruptions. Ocean Metropolis efficiently lobbied the Maryland Common Meeting to move emergency laws within the spring to present police extra instruments to manage motorists.
Nonetheless, the chief assured the general public that OCPD is “doing all the pieces that we presumably can do to maintain peace on this city.”
Have you ever witnessed current violence in Ocean Metropolis or what occurred on the Boardwalk the evening of Friday, June 12? Attain out to reporter Rose Velazquez at email@example.com to share your story.