The Ocean Pines Police Department is joining forces with neighboring law enforcement agencies in Worcester County, Md. to co-host Ocean City’s longstanding Citizens Police Academy.
The partnership with Ocean City and Ocean Pines Police departments, Worcester County Sheriff’s Office, and Maryland State Police Berlin Barracks is the first of its kind for the academy. Ocean Pines Police Chief Dave Massey believes that educating area residents on what happens inside local police departments is critical in building trust and positive future interactions with police.
“The Ocean Pines Police Department is proud to partner with the Ocean City Police Department in the upcoming Citizens Police Academy,” Massey said. “I urge all of our residents to consider this unique opportunity to build trust with local law enforcement.”
The Citizens Police Academy is scheduled every Tuesday at 6 p.m. from Sept. 11 – Nov. 13 at the Ocean City Public Safety Building, located at 6501 Coastal Highway.
The free ten-week program is designed to heighten the awareness of the public and give area residents working knowledge of police departments through a behind-the-scenes approach.
Students will meet a variety of officers to learn about criminal law, traffic enforcement, evidence collection, firearms, arrest procedures, narcotics enforcement, the mounted and K-9 units, crime analysis and other topics. Those enrolled in the academy will also receive a hands-on opportunity to participate in practical scenarios.
The academy dates back to 1994 when Massey served as the chief of the Ocean City Police Department. Massey said he is proud to see the academy grow into a county-wide initiative.
“One of the most successful programs I’ve implemented as chief of the Ocean City Police Department was the Citizens Police Academy,” said Massey. “This program demystifies the police profession with our citizens by showing them the day-to-day operations of the police department. Studies have shown that 90 percent of police activity with residents is not writing tickets or making arrests, but interacting with and protecting residents on a daily basis.”
Class size is limited to 30 participants and applicants must be 18 years of age to participate. Citizens who are interested must complete an application and give permission for the Ocean City Police Department to conduct a background check. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, Sept. 4.
“We are excited to partner with our allied agencies and welcome citizens from across Worcester County to learn more about law enforcement in our area,” commented Ocean City Police Chief Ross Buzzuro. “This program allows police to build relationships with community members and we are looking forward to sharing that experience with our partners.”
For more information about the Citizens Police Academy or to receive an application, please visit http://oceancitymd.gov/oc/departments/police/programs/ or contact the OCPD Public Affairs Office at 410-520-5395.