National Night Out In OC: An Important Step In Crime Prevention - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

National Night Out In OC: An Important Step In Crime Prevention

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OCEAN CITY, Md. – Over 15,000 communities across the United States participated in the annual National Night Out event on Tuesday, including many places in Delmarva. However, in Ocean City, where it has been very busy when it comes to crime, this year's event was especially important.

Many of the residents at the event, who live at the shore all year round, say they are worried about the crime, and that this summer was particularly worse than what they are used to.

"I think it's terrible, you know, especially for permanent residents," says Colonel Carl May, a resident of Ocean City.

Private First Class Officer Mike Levy says that this has been a very "unusual" summer for the popular beach town.

"The types of incidents we've dealt with here are not normal for Ocean City, and we're not 100 percent sure why we see this kind of activity."

However, police do know that when it comes to statistics, crimes are actually down in Ocean City. Reports show that over the past year, only two percent of the 77,000 calls were of criminal nature. Officer Levy says this summer has brought more high profile cases that have sparked a lot of attention, and as a result, a lot more fear.

"The awareness of the crimes are up, but the number of crimes are really down," says Dennis Dare, an Ocean City council member.

"The mere fear can cause people problems, so it's our mission to help suppress that, and make sure people not only live in safe community, but also feel safe in their community," says Lieutenant Ed Schrier with the Worcester County Sheriff's Office.

To help make that happen, Lieutenant Schrier says they are beefing up patrols on the weekends to handle the influx of population that comes in. In addition, Officer Levy says they are trying to use technology to enhance their visual service, particularly on the areas on the boardwalk. One of their plans, include more boardwalk cameras.

"We're actually using that technology to help us make people safer, and put a presence where we might not have police to actually patrol," says Officer Levy.

Officials say that all of the planning aside, one of the best ways to prevent crime is by having events like National Night Out, where the community and police can join together.

"What protects citizens is a partnership," says Officer Levy.

"It's just a win on both sides," says Chief Ross Buzzuro with the Ocean City Police Department. "The community is the eyes and ears of the police department. Our success and effectiveness is predicated around our relationship with the public."

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