Crime in Ocean City appears to be much closer to where it was in 2019, according to Police Chief Ross Buzzuro, though some offenses like DUI and drug arrests saw a slight increase in October.
During a Police Commission meeting on Monday morning, the chief presented his monthly crime statistic report that showed the trend is much closer to normal than it was in 2020, when the covid-19 pandemic was in full force.
“We’re pretty close to where we were two years ago,” Buzzuro said. “We had a lot of historic lows in ’19 … [and] we’re moving toward those levels, which is a good pressure point.”
The department fielded 2,065 calls last month, with 1,202 coming from officers and 863 from citizens. Excluded from the chief’s total were traffic stops, business checks, and calls to assist citizens.
In October 2019, OCPD responded to 2,437 calls, or 372 more.
Of the calls for service, the chief said many of the top 10-15 categories are about the same as in 2019. For instance, officers responded to 78 reports of suspicious activity last month compared to 76 in 2019 and 70 reports of disorderly conduct versus 74 two years ago.
Police conducted 378 fewer traffic stops last month with a total of 726 compared to 1,104 in 2019. The department also responded to 34 domestic disputes in the 10th month of the year compared to 37 during the same period in 2019.
Where the department saw increases were with things like 911 hang-ups, collisions, and animal complaints.
Another statistic the chief reported on were the number of custodial arrests, which jumped up to 130 compared to 101 in 2019.
Officers arrested 12 people for drugs, versus seven in 2019, issued 10 citations for marijuana possession compared to 14 two years ago, and arrested 27 people for DUI, 17 more than two years ago.
The department also made 13 arrests for illegal possession of weapons last month, as opposed to 10 in 2019. Of the weapons arrests, two were for firearms, seven for knives, and the rest were things such as pepper spray and electronic tasers.
Councilman Lloyd Martin, who also chairs the Police Commission, praised the police department saying the statistics all sound positive.