Ocean City Investigates Jump in Assaults on Police
OCEAN CITY, Md.- Tasers are suppose to get officers out of sticky situations. But Ocean City Councilman Brent Ashley is worried about a jump in police assaults in the resort town.
"We increased our number of Tasers on the street and my expectation was that the number of assaults would go down," said Ashley, outside of town hall. "But instead they went up."
Town officials said the police department doubled the amount of Tasers; going from 30 to 60. Each Taser cost about $1,500 to $2,000, which is why Ashley is confused.
"We gave the officers the Tasers to use so they wouldn't be assaulted," said Ashley. "Why are the number of assaults up instead of down?"
That's the question Ashley wants Police Chief Ross Buzzuro to answer.
"I take full responsibility for their [police officers in Ocean City] safety," Buzzuro said. "Well, we take every assault on our officers seriously."
So Ocean City's crime analysis is looking into the recent report of police assaults, and here's what the department found.
"Assaults on full-time officers have remained 'kinda' consistent, as where the assaults on seasonal officers have significantly increased," Buzzuro said.
They jumped from 46 assaults to 58 last year, according to Buzzuro. He said that's largely because seasonal officers don't have Tasers.
"That's for several reasons: one is there's a certain amount of training that is involved in the use of a Taser," Buzzuro said. "And to be quite honest and candid with you, the amount of time we have to train the officers for the season does not allow for it at the present time."
In the meantime, Councilman Brent Ashley hopes as the number of Tasers increase, the number of police assaults decreases.