Letter to the Editor

printed 06/03/2022

Editor,

Why? I recently was talking with some seasonal police officers, in Ocean City, Maryland and was told they can only return as police officers for two summer seasons.

At a time when you read in OC Today about the seasonal police officer shortage and how hard it is to find good officers for the summer season would this rule exist?

As a former seasonal police officer, many years ago, we never experienced this rule. Many of our seasonal officers were law school students, such as me, and others were schoolteachers or seasonal workers returning to Ocean City for summer officer positions, such as Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger.

Would it not benefit the Town of Ocean City, residents, visitors and the like to have returning “experienced” summer police officers for the summer season?

I believe experience from my first season made me a better police officer for my next season. Experience counts!

I have been unable to determine why this rule exists however, maybe your newspaper can?

Norman Kayler

Ocean City

Ocean City Police Department’s response to Norman Kayler’s letter:

As you know, our seasonal officer program has been around for a long time.

Back when Mr. Kayler was a seasonal, the program operated under the law that allowed Ocean City to have a seasonal officer program with the stipulation that required us to hire 100 seasonal officers each summer.

Years ago, we use to have a couple hundred applicants each testing cycle. In addition, we would have seasonal officers return for multiple seasons. They would return during summer breaks from college or their jobs.

As the years went on, we started to see a decline in seasonal applicants, which led to us not meeting the stipulation of 100 officers.

Around 2014, we shifted to certifying our seasonal police office as a Maryland “Provisional Police Officers” through the Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commission (M.P.C.T.C).

This means that our seasonal officers are subjected to a full and complete background investigation, including a polygraph examination, a psychological examination, and a criminal background investigation.

As “Provisional Officers,” our seasonal personnel are recognized as sworn police officers with full arrest and law enforcement authority.

The provisional certification allows us to employ the officer for 365 days before entering into a full police academy or ending the employment (provisional license expires).

Our seasonals can use that 365 cumulatively, which typically results in them working for us for two summers. How long they stay on with us for the season depends on how long they could work the following summer.

Since our seasonal’s hold that Maryland provisional certification, we have seen seasonal staff going on to full-time police agencies faster.

Holding that certification, lets other departments know that they are fully vetted and they have on-the-job experience which makes them more appealing to agencies looking to fulfill full-time positions.

Thank you Mr. Norman Kayler for your service with us!

Ashley Miller

Deputy Communications Manager

Ocean City Police Department

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