Ocean City adds surveillance cameras; may ban sale of knives, laser pointers

The Town of Ocean City is taking multiple steps to increase safety on the boardwalk this summer, police officials said.

Visitors on Memorial Day will notice increased surveillance cameras placed in strategic locations along the boardwalk. The city has always had a few cameras in position but those were mostly used for tourism purposes, said Lindsay O'Neal, spokeswoman for the Ocean City Police Department.

"We will have dozen or so cameras total on the boardwalk – and we will have one of our employees monitoring the cameras," said O'Neal, adding that in the past the cameras were not generally used for policing purposes.

She said the city is spending $200,000 on the effort and te cameras are expected to be in place by the end of the month but "before the summer really gets going."

O'Neal said new Chief of Police Ross Buzzuro, who hails from the Baltimore Police Department, has been instrumental in getting the cameras in place quickly.

"[He] got the ball rolling. He's from Baltimore...where they have their CitiWatch Program," she said, referring to the video monitoring of the city that assists police with public safety.

In addition to the cameras, Ocean City's town council is considering an ordinance that would ban the sale of "assisted opening knives" on the boardwalk and throughout the city. The knives are defined as "a knife which uses an internal mechanism (spring, tension spring or other mechanical device) to fully open the blade once the user has depressed the flipper or thumb stud attached to the blade."

"This is just another effort to make our boardwalk much safer," O'Neal said. "We don’t see the boardwalk as a place to sell these knives."

The council will vote Monday on the proposal, which also includes a ban on the sale of laser pointers.

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