(May 23, 2014) The Ocean City Police Department is prepared for this Memorial Day weekend with new recruits and stiffer fines for that most heinous of party-fouls – public urination.
Councilman and Police Commission Chair Doug Cymek told council this week and that the department had agreed to hike the penalty for public urination, a matter pushed by Councilman Brent Ashley after Dewey Beach did the same last year.
“I think it’s a strong move and it sends a positive message that we’re concerned about quality of life in our town,” Ashley said.
Fines for public urination have typically been $25, according to OCPD Chief Ross Buzzuro, but would be raised to $100 per incident.
City code already allows for fines of up to $500 for municipal infractions, City Solicitor Guy Ayres noted, and officers need only to be told by their command staff to start issuing larger tickets.
Memorial Day will also be the first big weekend, as usual, for the city’s seasonal police force.
The OCPD has hired a total of 99 officers for the 2014 summer, 37 of which are returning veterans from previous seasons, according to OCPD Public Affairs Specialist Lindsay O’Neal. Although they are only temporary, seasonal police are fully-sworn officers with full powers of arrest. The OCPD is the only agency in the state authorized to raise such a force.
Dewey hiked its fines for public urination from $85 to $200 last November. Prior OCPD records indicate roughly 70 to 80 public urination or defecation citations are written each year.