OCEAN CITY, Md. - Picking out members of the new Ocean City Special Enforcement Unit from the rest of the busy boardwalk will be pretty difficult. With the department rolling out a new, plain clothed unit, that's just the way they want it.
While police admit, crime has been down in 2013, the department hopes the new unit will help prevent a criminal culture.
"If we start to see an increase in burglaries in a particular area, we can always put a police car and bike officers in that area, that'll probably slow them down if not stop it...until you take them out," says Ocean City Police Spokesman Mike Levy.
Ocean City has always had plain clothes officers, Levy says the system was inconsistent, "in the past, the continuity of that hasn't been as good as we want it to be because it's been sporadic from the shifts and it hasn't been the same group supervised by the same supervisor."
One question many locals had was "Why now, at the end of the summer season?" According to police, the slower season is the ideal time to train the new unit.
"We're doing this in the winter to kind of get us used to the scheduling, get us used to the kind of activities that these officers would be involved in," says Levy.
Officers for the Special Enforcement Unit are being taken from within the patrol unit. Police believe this will not weaken the patrol sector, but will allow them to focus more on daily patrols.
Police wont' say how many officers will be in the special unit, so the unit's exact capabilities will be unknown to potential criminals.
Ocean City is also increasing eyes on the streets in another way. Ten to twelve security cameras are going to be installed throughout the beach town, adding to the significant number currently in place.
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