(June 6, 2014) Area law enforcement agencies are prepared for possible problems in northern Worcester County this weekend should the supposed College Takeover Beach Weekend take place.
Online posts about the event in Ocean City June 5-8 prompted meetings, cancellations of leaves and vacations for law enforcement officers and advisories for businesses.
College Takeover Beach Week has been promoted on social media and directed at students in traditionally historically black colleges and universities. Because there is no official organization involved, law enforcement personnel do not know how many students or others might come to Ocean City.
“Nothing is confirmed about the number of people,” Lt. Ed Schreier of the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday.
Worcester County Sheriff Reggie Mason and others in that office met Tuesday with Ocean City Police Chief Ross Buzzuro and some members of his staff to discuss the situation. On Wednesday, Mason and his upper management staff met with the chiefs of the Snow Hill Police Department and the Pocomoke City Police Department to discuss possible issues that might arise in the southern end of the county.
When a similar event took place in Virginia Beach in 2013, there were shootings, stabbings and general disorder so law enforcement group here want to be prepared.
“There will be an increased law enforcement presence throughout the entire county to help ensure the peace and tranquility of the communities we live in,” Schreier said. “It’s best to be prepared.”
A press release issued Wednesday by the Sheriff’s Office said, “The mission of the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office is to serve the people of Worcester County Maryland, and to provide safety, combat crime, eliminate the fear of crime, and improve quality of life in our communities. This will be done through loyalty, integrity, fairness, and excellence.
“The Worcester County Sheriff’s Office has taken proactive steps to help ensure the safety of the Worcester County community. There will be an increased presence of Worcester County Sheriff’s Office deputies patrolling the county. The Sheriff has also added increased patrols of deputies in the town of Ocean City. The sheriff wants all those who come to Ocean City and the surrounding areas to enjoy their stay without the fear of crime.
“The Sheriff stated that criminal behavior will not be tolerated and all Law Enforcement in the area are prepared to take the appropriate action to help ensure the safety of those who wish to live and vacation in our community.”
A source told Ocean City Today that Gov. Martin O’Malley was aware of the College Takeover Beach Weekend and has assigned 120 additional state troopers to Worcester County for the weekend. The source also said store owners in West Ocean City had been advised to be especially vigilant.
In Ocean City, police will concentrate on the Boardwalk area, which is usually crowded this time of year with visitors, including high school graduates celebrating Senior Week.