Police Department Information
Chief of Police
The Police Chief is responsible for ensuring the safety and wellbeing of the residents and visitors to the City of Ocean City. Chief Jay Prettyman is the 12th Chief of Police to serve on Ocean City’s Police Department since its first in 1887. Chief Prettyman started as a part-time Seasonal Law Enforcement Officer in 1992. He worked two summer seasons before accepting a full-time Police Officer position with the Haddon Heights Police Department in Camden County, NJ, and then returned to the Ocean City Police Department in September of 1995 when he was hired as a full-time Police Officer. In Chief Prettyman’s current role, he is responsible for a full-time sworn staff of 60 officers, 14 full-time civilian staff, and approximately 15 part-time civilian staff members. In addition to the 74 full-time employees, Chief Prettyman employees approximately 50 additional Seasonal Law Enforcement Officers during the summer season, due to the influx in population. These officers usually worked from April to October each year.
Under Chief Prettyman, the Department is currently organized into three Divisions; the Patrol Operations Division, the Special Services Division, and the Professional Standards Division. Community Oriented Policing and Police Accreditation continue to be the backbone and the philosophy of the Department. Both have resulted in many positive changes throughout the City, including enhanced community involvement with the local schools and civic organizations and maintaining the Department’s status as being accredited through the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police. The Ocean City Police Department is only the 2nd agency in the state to have achieved and maintained “Accredited” status for 4 re-accreditation cycles.
Chief Prettyman was raised in Voorhees, NJ and is a graduate of Eastern Regional High School. He later studied Architecture at Temple University and later obtained both a Bachelor of Arts degree in Law/ Justice from Rowan University and a Master of Arts degree in Public Safety/ Environmental Protection from Saint Joseph’s University. He has been the recipient of numerous awards and achievements throughout his career and is a graduate of the FBI’s National Academy Session #237. He is also a New Jersey Certified Public Manager, a New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police Accreditation Assessor Team Leader, and is a certified Advanced Law Enforcement Executive.
Chief Prettyman is active in numerous community organizations including the Ocean City Yacht Club, the Ocean City Fishing Club, VFW Post #6650, and St. Damiens Parrish. He is also a member of the FBI National Academy Associates where he served as President in 2017, the Cape May County Association of Chiefs of Police, the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police, and the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
Chief Prettyman resides in Ocean City with his wife Tiffany and two daughters, Phoebe and Chloe.