(Oct. 31, 2014) Wanda and Donald Olson are quite the duo—even being dubbed “the Olson twins” by the Ocean City Police Department.
They have been married 68 years, raised five daughters and together volunteered 5,000 hours over an 11-year period to the OCPD Auxiliary Unit. Last week, they were given a key to the city and certificates of achievements from the Ocean City Police Department.
“I had much enjoyment serving with the police and traveling with my husband together. We always volunteered with each other, that’s how we became the ‘Olson twins,’” Wanda Olson said.
“I was very shocked and considered it an honor to serve. I wasn’t expecting anything in return,” Donald Olson said.
“Well maybe a hug and a kiss,” he said jokingly.
Specifically, the Olsons were involved with Play It Safe, Sunfest, Springfest, fireman’s parade, Corvette parade, antique parade, movies on the beach and fireworks at Northside Park.
“Ocean City has changed through the years, it has become a better place. There are many activities for kids down here these days. Play It Safe will always be a fond memory of mine and the kids love seeing you at activities. It allows you to meet a lot of people. I really enjoyed Play It Safe this summer,” Wanda Olson said.
She went on to tell a story about this year’s Play It Safe event. A high school graduate showed a picture of “the love of his life” in her auxiliary uniform unknowingly to Wanda’s family member. She obviously realized it was “Grandmom Olson” right away.
Wanda, 85, and Donald, 87, have a huge family.
“We have been bringing the children down to Ocean City since they were very young. My son came down when he graduated in 1964. They didn’t even have public bathrooms back then, but they always had fun,” Wanda Olson said.
For the past 21 years, the Olson’s have voluntarily helped file taxes for residents in Ocean City for AARP from October to April.
At an AARP meeting, the police department introduced a program where residents could learn about their neighborhoods. The Olsons signed up and attended every week for six weeks. Afterward, the police invited them to become reserved officers, later changed to auxiliary and the Olson twins accepted.
“The OCPD risk their lives every day to protect the community. I liked being helpful, having our eyes and ears open. Wanda always said we were the good will ambassadors of Ocean City,” Donald Olson said.
It comes to no surprise that Donald Olson spent 30 years in the Navy.
“”We could always count on the Olsons to volunteer for any assignment that was asked of the Auxiliary Unit. Donald and Wanda were very dedicated to our department and the citizens of Ocean City and we will miss them greatly,” said Lindsay O’Neal, Public Affairs Specialist for the Ocean City Police Department.
“We have enjoyed our 21 years in Ocean City. Don has made many friends from being part of the Auxiliary Unit for so long,” Wanda said. “We have to say bye to car dealerships, the city council, the police department, Ocean City library, Ocean Pines library and our 16 AARP tax workers we have worked with for the past 20 years.”
“It is hard to say goodbye to everyone. We enjoyed the people and visitors of Ocean City. It was always an honor and humbling to be asked by attendees to take pictures with them,” Donald said.
The Auxiliary Unit is a group of civilian volunteers trained to support the department and serve the citizens of Ocean City. Members of the unit volunteer their time to assist sworn personnel with traffic details, special event security and administrative assistance.
- Ocean City Police Department Auxiliary Unit officers,
- Wanda and Donald Olson, are recognized 5,000 hours
- of service in 11 years during a recent luncheon.
- Pictured with the couple, are Lt. Scott Harner, left, and
- Chief Ross Buzzuro.
Photo Courtesy of: Lindsay O’Neal