- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 12, 2002

Maryland State Police are sending reinforcements to Ocean City to help maintain control in the seaside resort town as "Senior Week" kicks into high gear and hundreds of thousands of students swarm into the city.
The month of June is traditionally a time where high school seniors and college students descend on Ocean City to celebrate graduations and the end of the school year.
Their penchant for excessive drunkenness, property destruction and unruly behavior has earned them the nickname "Junebugs" in a city divided between those who treasure the revenue they bring in and those who resent their presence.
State police have allocated 25 four-hour overtime shifts, equaling 100 hours, to Ocean City for the month of June to help the 93-officer Ocean City Police Department, which swells to nearly 200 officers in the summer.
"They're going to need some help," said Sgt. Thornnie Rouse, a spokesman for the state police.
"Operation Junebug" will center on Coastal Highway, the main strip that runs through Ocean City, and will focus on spotting underage drinking and aggressive driving.
"They'll find plenty of that. They won't be bored," said Allison Stine, general manager of the Princess Bayside Hotel.
Ocean City's population last weekend was 222,863, or about 30 times higher than the average winter population of about 7,500, according to Donna Abbott, a spokeswoman for the city.
Despite its moniker, Senior Week actually lasts for most of June.
There has been plenty of action so far, according to police and hotel sources, but no major events of violence or destruction.
The worst may come this weekend, said one employee at the Cayman Suites Hotel.
With this being the busiest week for graduating students, property destruction may be widespread during the last night of partying for those leaving this weekend.
Citations and arrests for underage drinking have been rising since late May, said Jay Hancock, a spokesman for the Ocean City Police Department.
"It's boisterous, but I think it's safe," he said. "The kids are pretty exuberant, celebrating their graduations, and they do it full force."
Mr. Hancock also said there had been a few assaults and fights.
"It seems to be par for the course for 'Junebug' week," he said.
Miss Stine said there was one teen girl who took a room at the Princess Bayside with her boyfriend after her parents called and said they had a family emergency and could not come themselves.
The girl ended up calling 911, saying her boyfriend had beaten her.
"Parents are crazy to make reservations for their kids and think they're going to be perfect angels," said Miss Stine.

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