Ocean City Today

Police dept. sends calm beach weekend message

After melee last year caught OCPD off guard, agencies called in to bolster ranks
By Katie Tabeling | Jul 20, 2017
Photo by: Katie Tabeling Dozens of residents and long-term visitors met with Ocean City Police officers during the city’s first Coffee with a Cop event on Wednesday at the 17th Street Starbucks. The event was one aspect of OCPD's public awareness campaign for the College Beach Weekend event.

(July 21, 2017) Ocean City Police will be out in full force for the next three days in case a College Beach Weekend event becomes unruly as it did last summer.

“People should expect to see an influx of college-aged students that we typically see in June this weekend,” said Police Public Affairs Specialist Lindsay Richard. “We’re advising businesses to staff accordingly, and people to be prepared. We don’t want anyone caught off guard this time.”

The College Beach Weekend, scheduled for July 21-23, is promoted on various social media platforms including Twitter under #CBW2K17. When the event came to the resort last July, a dozen visitors were arrested after a large-scale confrontation with police on the Boardwalk.

Richard said unlike last year, the department is well prepared for the college crowd.

“It’s safe to say we didn’t do the best in informing the public last year, but detectives have been monitoring this event since it came on our radar,” she said. “We can’t disclose our investigation tactics in finding the locations, but people should know that we’ll be out looking for large public gatherings at least.”

This year, promoters are selling tickets through Eventbrite.com for $20 per party at undisclosed locations, or $60 for VIP access. College Beach Weekend kicks off on Friday 2 -6 p.m. with a meet and greet and continues with free shots at the “ProjectOC #HennyThingGoes” party.

Saturday has the “OC Freak Nik” party, where free shots will be given to girls with lingerie, according to the event page. Sunday is supposed to close out with “Issa Day Party” and “Oscars All White Party.”

Ocean City police are taking a two-pronged approach to prevent major incidents: notifying the public and increased enforcement.

“The main thing this year is our work with our allied agencies,” Richard said. “We’ve asked for Maryland State Police and the sheriff to send additional officers, and we’re optimistic that’ll make a substantial difference.”

All Ocean City police officers and most seasonal staff will be working, with patrols geared to the Boardwalk. State troopers and Ocean City Police started patrolling downtown on Thursday.

On the public relations side, the department issued press statements a month in advance, advising residents and business owners of the event’s possible side effects. Chief Ross Buzzuro also sent an open letter last week to local newspapers that assured the public that he hoped for another safe weekend.

“Since we usually don’t see this crowd in July, we don’t want anyone scared. That’s our way of making the community aware that we’re prepared and we’re handling it,” Richard said.


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