Ocean City Today

OCPD photo named funniest in nationwide selfie contest

By Katie Tabeling | Aug 24, 2017
Courtesy of: Jessica Waters Ocean City Police Department members, from left to right, Lt. Art Grady, PFC Shawn Lindsey, PFC Joseph Zurla, Sgt. Frank Wrench, PFC Gary Cooper and Cpl. Joseph Bushnell pose in an award-winning selfie for the #CityHallSelfie competition last week. Cpl. Al Custer is on the horse Scout.

(Aug. 25, 2017) Ocean City Police’s selfie game is strong enough to take home the funniest selfie award in the Engaging Local Government Leaders (ELGL) #CityHallSefie day competition last week.

The award-winning selfie, or self-portrait taken with a camera phone, features Cpl. Al Custer on a police horse in the City Council chambers on Aug. 15. Custer and the horse, nicknamed “Mr. Fuzzy Britches,” is surrounded by five accomplices: Lt. Art Grady, PFC Shawn Lindsey, PFC Joseph Zurla, Sgt. Frank Wrench, PFC Gary Cooper and Cpl. Joseph Bushnell.

“No, it’s not Photoshopped,” Zurla said laughing. “We got the horse in there through the rear parking lot entrance. Once we got him in there, we just marveled that we actually did it – and we were thankful he didn’t go to the bathroom in there. That was our biggest concern.”

The ELGL is a government professional association that connects and educates people about local government public service. #CityHallSelfie day was started by the association as an entertaining way to celebrate local government service and to highlight local government facilities.

City Communications Manager Jessica Waters spent the day tweeting photos of the resort’s departments, officials and councilmembers. Ultimately OCPD was named one of 23 top selfies of the day of hundreds of submissions across the nation.

Zurla said that it was Bushnell’s idea to bring the horse, actually named Scout, in City Hall.

“Joe was just joking about it that we pull something off like the scene in ‘Animal House’ with the horse in the office. We brushed it off, but then when we thought about it, we said, ‘why not put our best foot forward and do the craziest thing we can think of?” Zurla said.

He added that after the selfie was posted, he was worried they might be reprimanded for the stunt, but heard nothing even after Sen. Jim Mathias retweeted it and the post picked up steam.

“We saw some guys in Anchorage [Alaska] try and copy us with a reindeer in front of city hall, and that doesn’t count because it’s a reindeer,” Zurla joked.

The funniest selfie award comes with a trophy and selfie stick from the ELGL, but that doesn’t matter much to Zurla and his cohorts.

“It does come with bragging rights,” he said. “At first we were very surprised we won. Now it’s like, ‘yeah, damn right we won.’ Absolutely we’ll come back next year – hopefully we can top that.”

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