OCEAN CITY — While the search continues for a new Ocean City Police Chief, a former chief largely credited for being the architect of the modern-day Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) passed away last weekend at the age of 90 surrounded by his family.
Former Ocean City Police Chief Frank G. Pappas passed away last Sunday at the age of 90. Pappas was considered a law enforcement icon by many of his contemporaries and was a career public servant. He took over as chief of police in Ocean City in 1980 after a 30-year career with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
In 1980, the OCPD had a staff of 80 officers and 10 civilians. As a former DEA officer, he is credited with stepping up the fight against drugs in the resort and launched a crackdown on other serious crimes in an effort to preserve Ocean City’s “family image.” Pappas also established the OCPD’s Quick Response Team (QRT), a group of specially trained officers called upon to provide tactical support during incidents that require special resources.
Before he retired from the OCPD in 1986, Pappas established a completely new police administrative system and essentially rewrote the department’s general orders along with the operations and conduct policy manuals. Acting OCPD Chief Greg Guiton said this week Pappas was a monumental asset to the department during his time as chief.
“Chief Pappas was an essential part of the current success of the Ocean City Police Department,” he said. “Many of the initiatives and policies that he established are still in place today.”
Pappas was recalled as a dedicated public servant who not only served the Ocean City community as its chief of police, but also spent 30 years with the federal government as a DEA official. He began his DEA career as a special agent before finishing as Special Assistant to the Deputy Administrator. After Pappas retired from the OCPD in 1986, he served as a parole commissioner for the state of Maryland from 1988 to 2002. Pappas also served in the military and was a decorated World War II veteran, serving in the Army Air Corps and later in the Air Force Reserves for over 20 years.