Chief Awards Police Commendations, Announce Promotions
OCEAN CITY - Those who risk their lives every day for the residents and visitors of Ocean City alike were recognized for their continued efforts Monday night during an open session of the Mayor and City Council.
On hand at the presentation was Ocean City Police Chief Bernadette DiPino, who recognized both the department's reserve and full-time officers, as well as the promotions of several others.
DiPino began the ceremony by first recognizing the efforts of 13 reserve officers who volunteered a total of 3,066 hours in the past year.
'This equates to a savings of $96,355 in savings to the town of Ocean City,' she said. 'Since 1999, the reserve officers have provided 29,593.75 hours of service which resulted in a savings of $977,366.25.'
Those officers included Lilly Andrews, Bob Borys, Emory Brooks, Joann Brooks, Reid Gay, Ann Gough, Charles Judd, Sy Longberg, George Mause, Dorothy C. Morse, Donald Olson, Wanda Olson and Tonja Sas.
One of the reserve officers, Sy Longberg, who has been volunteering his time since 2000, was also recognized as the 'Reserve Officer of the Year' for the 606 volunteer hours he contributed in 2006.
Another reserve officer receiving special recognition was Robert Borys for the administrative support he has provided to the Criminal Investigation Division. DiPino awarded him the 'Chief's Excellence Award.'
Up next were the commendations for the department's full-time officers. First up was PFC Jeffrey Stutzel who received the 'Silver Star', one of the OCPD's highest commendations.
'On March 7, 2006, PFC Stutzel endangered his own life in an effort to disarm a suicidal subject, ' DiPino said. 'The subject's life was saved due to the actions of PFC Stutzel.'
Next were three 'Meritorious Service Awards' given to Officer Joseph Lotito, DFC Vicki Martin and CPL Doug Smith.
According to DiPino, Lotito earned his award after providing 'excellent investigative work' with a peeping tom incident back in January of 2006 that resulted in the confession and arrest of a repeat offender.
Martin's award stemmed from detective work back in March of 2006 that dealt with a drive-by shooting where the suspects fled out of state. It was her continued efforts, DiPino said, that led to the arrest of the shooter and his accomplices.
Lastly, having a career conviction rate greater than 95 percent, DiPino said Smith earned his Meritorious Service Award for his efforts against drunk and drugged drivers.
Also awarded was the 'Excellent Police Performance' commendation to Sgt. Elton Harmon, PFC Edward Newcomb and Officer Frank Soscia.
'Sgt. Harmon and PFC Newcomb conducted a traffic stop which lead to the arrest in a first-degree burglary involving numerous handguns and other weapons,' DiPino said as she presented the two with their awards.
She went on to say Soscia earned his commendation for a similar traffic stop that led to the recovery of a stolen vehicle and the arrest in a first-degree burglary.
Last was a unit citation for the members of the OCPD's Narcotics Division whose work has surpassed that of years past, according to DiPino.
'These dedicated and tireless law enforcement officers are to be commended for their extraordinary commitment to fighting crime,' she said. 'Their efforts have resulted in more arrests, seizures of contraband and assets forfeited than in past years.'Following the award ceremony, DiPino announced promotions. Achieving the rank of Private First Class (PFC) was Kevin Flower, Jeffrey Johns, Nicholas Simpson, Todd Speigle, Christopher Snyder, Jeffrey Stutzel and Charles Zukas. Achieving the rank of Corporal was Douglas Smith, Frank Wrench, Dennis Eade and Sydney Findley.