OCPD Request Armrest Dividers for Boardwalk Benches to Prevent - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

OCPD Request Armrest Dividers for Boardwalk Benches to Prevent Misuse

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 OCEAN CITY, Md.- The Ocean City Police Department is asking city officials to install armrests on some boardwalk benches because a growing number of people are sleeping on them.

It's only a matter of time before more than 100 benches, each aligned neatly down the boardwalk, fill up with beachgoers. There is plenty of seating now, but town police feel it may become a problem on other parts of the strip.

A spokesperson for OCPD tells WBOC benches, in areas like the Caroline Street Comfort station, have attracted a small homeless population in recent years. Councilman Wayne Hoffman said there has even been reports about people skateboarding on them.

The armrests have been suggested as a way to prevent people from misusing the benches.

" I don't think it's going to make a difference," Tcelia Klosowicz said. "People will find ways of doing what they want to do."

The Public Works Department does not support the proposed installation because it would require additional maintenance. Town officials said the armrest would cost around $200 each.

" I believe people should take it upon themselves to tell people to get up and not sleep," said Jenny Martin, who lives in Ocean City. " I think the armrests are going to cost the city a lot of money [too]."

Others expressed concern about the way the addition would look.

"I think if you put those handrails down the middle, it's going to chop them up," Klosowicz said. " It will look ugly."

James Oh of Ocean City does not see a problem.

"I think it will be fine," Oh said.  "I don't think it will be much different."

The Police Commission will has been tasked to come up with recommendations for ways to solve the problem, according to Hoffman. No set date to discuss the armrest proposal has been set.

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