By Cindy Hoffman, Staff Writer
(Aug. 10, 2023) Tim Robinson started on Aug. 1 as Ocean Pines new chief of police and was introduced to residents that evening at the local law enforcement’s First Night Out event in White Horse Park.
“I believe in being present and responsive to the citizens of this incredible community,” Robinson said.
His plans include being highly visible around Ocean Pines so residents should not be surprised to see him at the Saturday Farmers Market and at the pools and festivals.
Robinson is no stranger to the Eastern Shore of Maryland, having moved to this part of the state in the 1980s to attend Salisbury University. He never left.
“The best move I ever made as an adult was moving to the Eastern Shore,” he said.
Robinson’s experience with law enforcement began early, since his father was a police officer in Prince George’s County. Raised in Bowie, Maryland, Robinson was a seasonal officer in Rehoboth in the early 1990s and then worked full time for the Delmar Police Department for a little more than three years.
He spent most of his career at the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office, where he was captain for the special operations bureau until the end of July, when he retired.
He looks at becoming chief of police in Ocean Pines as his second career.
His style, he explained, is service first, while protecting the community and maintaining a level of professionalism on par with any other police department.
One of his first initiatives is to roll out body cameras for Ocean Pines police officers. He also expects to update the department’s policies and procedures.
A top priority, he said, will be to recruit new police officers and work to retain the officers already on the force.
“Every police department has the challenge of recruitment,” Robinson said. “There is less interest in a career in law enforcement. Thirty years ago, law enforcement was an extremely popular profession.”
Back then, he said he was competing with hundreds of other applicants for jobs.
“Now we are lucky if we get 12 applicants. And that’s not just Ocean Pines. Every department is faced with the same challenge. We are competing with every police department for the same dwindling pool of applicants,” he said.
“My job is to make Ocean Pines an appealing place to work and stay. And I have the support of the leadership of Ocean Pines to make that happen.”
Ocean Pines is considered a safe place to live, when it comes to crime. In 2023, the Southwest Journal ranked Ocean Pines the safest place to live in Maryland.
The biggest issue Robinson has heard about is speeding.
“Ocean Pines is not immune to crime. We have had the occasional drug possession, heroin overdose and burglaries. Fortunately, the numbers are much less than other communities. Our officers do a great job of keeping this community safe.”
When he is not on the job, Robinson find himself exploring U.S. history. He has a master’s degree in colonial and American history from Salisbury University. He loves visiting historical sites and museums, watching historic documentaries and reading books about history. He is on the history faculty at Salisbury University.
He also loves meeting historical figures. His most favorite memory is meeting Babe Heffron, a member of the 101st Airborne division of the United States Army during World War ll. Heffron was portrayed in the HBO miniseries “Band of Brothers.” He ran into Heffron on the streets of Philadelphia while on a trip with the Boy Scouts.
“He’s one of the most special people I have ever met.”