OCEAN CITY — More than a dozen officers from Ocean City are set to join a massive police force for President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration Friday, Jan. 20 in Washington, D.C.
Fourteen officers from the Ocean City Police Department will help with security along the parade route from the U.S. Capitol Building to the White House, Police Capt. Steven Ang said. He said the officers will mostly help with crowd control and directing traffic in an event expected to draw as many as 1 million people and multiple groups of protesters.
“It’s an honor for officers to be able to participate,” Ang said Tuesday, Jan. 10. “We put out a sign-up sheet, and a large majority of our officers sign up. We have to draw names out of a hat.”
Ang said 10 officers were initially asked to take part in the event, with four additional officers serving as alternates. Recently, the Metropolitan Police Department asked Ocean City police to provide the other four, Ang said.
The officers will leave for Washington on the morning of Wednesday, Jan. 18. They are set to receive training for the event at the National Guard Armory on Jan. 19, and they will be sworn in and handed their assignments later that day, Ang said. On Jan. 20, they’ll be on duty from 4 a.m. to about midnight, he said. The officers will return on Jan. 21, he said.
Sgt. Pat Randles will be Ocean City's ranking officer at the event, Ang said.
Ang said officers have been helping out with inauguration security since 2009 under former Police Chief Bob Blevin, who had established ties with the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department. Officers from the resort took part in the 2009 and 2013 events, Ang said. Ang also noted that officers in the department who graduated from the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va. have connections with members of federal law enforcement.
“Those relationships have evolved and continued to allow us to participate in other events,” Ang said.
Metro Police will pick up all costs associated with the trip, including hotel, food and travel expenses, as well as the officers’ salaries for those four days, Ang said.
Ang said the department’s remaining officers will alter their schedules in order to keep a full police force in town around the clock.
Ang said that over the years, Ocean City’s participation in the event paved the way for other local police departments in the county to get involved. Wildwood and Middle Township will also send officers to the Jan. 20 event, he said.