(Jan. 16, 2015) Ocean City businesses and officials last Thursday did their part to express their confidence in law enforcement at a ceremony in the Public Safety Building a day before the country marked its first National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.
National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day was launched by the National FBI Academy as a counter to anti-police protests and violence against police subsequent to fatal shootings involving police elsewhere in the country last year.
Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan, Neighborhood Watch Coordinator Brooke Rodgers, Ocean City Chamber of Commerce President Brett Wolf and Police Chief Ross Buzzuro all spoke at the celebration.
“We gather to honor the Ocean City Police Department and officers in other counties around us. The significant negativity towards law enforcement has luckily not affected Ocean City. The business owners and citizens of Ocean City know the commitment officers make to protect and serve us every day,” Meehan said.
Meehan urged the crowd to show support for the officers of Ocean City by taking a minute to thank them for everything they do.
“To the men and women, we want to thank you for being here for us each and every day,” said Meehan.
Rogers shared his experiences and glimpse into the Ocean City Police Department by working with Neighborhood Watch for the past five years.
“The commitment our police department has to community relations makes all the difference. It’s their professionalism and the way they handle themselves. Being steady, kind, passionate and patient during interviews to figure out what happened …” Rogers said.
He concluded with how heartbreaking it has been to see citizens of the United States become enraged with officers and wanted to end with some inspiration. Rogers told them to keep up the good work and refrain from becoming discouraged.
“The officers do a fabulous job in Ocean City and we are fortunate to have a police department as dedicated as the one we have here,” Wolf said.
Wolf went on to explain how many Ocean City officers will take it upon themselves to stop in a business and make sure everything is going okay.
“Our effectiveness and success in what we do is a partnership with the community,” Buzzuro said. “We are going to do what we do regardless, but the motivation lets us know our hard work and dedication is appreciated.”
Buzzuro expressed how in recent months their jobs have not been easy, but citizens in Ocean City have demonstrated their appreciation. Residents have thanked officers, businesses have expressed their support and children on the Boardwalk with parents have walked up to police asking to take a picture with them.
“Personally, I want to thank all my officers for keeping Ocean City the safest town it can be. Our partners around the room [neighboring agencies], with all of you we are as strong as ever,” Buzzuro said.
The proclamation reiterated the speaker’s notions, named Jan. 9 National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day and encouraged all citizens to show support to the Ocean City Police Department.