By MADDY VITALE
Members of the Ocean City Police Department went down to Washington, D.C., in perhaps the greatest call of duty – to assist in security for the Inauguration Day of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala D. Harris.
“We’re proud to participate in securing the capital,” Police Chief Jay Prettyman said Wednesday. “It’s something we’ve had the pleasure to do, side by side with patrols from across the country, for the past four elections. It’s a memorable experience for our team and an important service to the nation.”
The officers who went to the historic event were as follows:
Lt. Pat Randles, Sgt. Pat Walsh, Sgt. John Vogt, Ptl. Jeff Doto, Ptl. Karl Ruf, Ptl. Tim Sharpe, Ptl. Mike Hinsley, Ptl. Jim Crowley, Ptl. Neal Cullen, Ptl. Randy Clark, Ptl. Brian Madison and Ptl. Jacob Harris.
“This is the fourth inauguration in a row that we’ve sent officers to assist. Eleven are in D.C. and they are stationed near the White House,” Ocean City Public Information Officer Doug Bergen said.
Ocean City police officers were also sent down to Washington, D.C., in 2009 and 2013 for the inauguration of President Barack Obama and in 2017 for President Donald Trump.
The police department started participating in the historic event in 2009 when Ocean City’s former Police Chief Bob Bevin established ties with the Washington Metropolitan Police Department. That led to an invitation to help during the inaugurations.
“Providing this support comes at no cost to local taxpayers,” Bergen said. “The federal government reimburses Ocean City for the officers’ time and travel.”
In 2017, the Metropolitan Police Department contacted Prettyman to enlist Ocean City’s help for Trump’s inauguration.
Bergen noted that Ocean City was one of the first local departments in South Jersey to be asked to assist in the inauguration detail.
“Over the years he, (Chief Prettyman) has helped recruit other municipal forces,” Bergen said.
Prettyman recruited officers for prior inaugurations from Somers Point, Wildwood and Middle Township.