BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Safety is a top priority for Ocean City during the Fourth of July holiday.
The resort town is expecting more than 300,000 people to pour in, and officials are preparing to handle record crowds — including by bringing in extra officers and lifeguards.
“If they go to the beach to go swimming, don’t go in the water unless the guards are on duty and they’re on duty from 10 a.m. to 5:30 every day,” says Beach Patrol Lt. Mike Stone.
“If you are with a family and have young kids, just make sure you use a landmark in case someone gets lost they know where they are or who to contact,” he adds.
“Be very conscious of their surroundings, watch out for themselves, watch out for each other,” says Ocean City Police Chief Ross Buzzuro.
Police officers will be out patrolling the city and the boardwalk, giving vacationers peace of mind during their getaway.
“You can’t relax if you think trouble is going to be happening and nobody’s going to be there to help you out, so here you have what you need,” says visitor Beatrice Macon.
“I feel like I’m in a safe place, and I feel like I don’t have to worry as much, I don’t have to like look behind my back everywhere I’m going,” says Julie Davis.
Authorities are also reminding people to obey the law for a safe celebration.
“If you are going to drink, drink responsibly,” Chief Buzzuro says. “Gets back ‘respect our town, respect yourself, and have a good time, enjoy yourself.'”
Ocean City tells WJZ crime rates are continuing to trend down over the past few years.