U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Comm. C.K. Moore presents Ocean City Police Department Ptl. John Porreca with a certificate of merit on Monday, Nov. 24, 2014.The U.S. Coast Guard honored Ptl. John Porreca on Monday for his service as the officer in charge of the Ocean City Police Marine Unit.The Ocean City Marine Unit has operated for two seasons with a 24-foot Zodiac patrolling from a base at the Coast Guard’s seasonal Great Egg Harbor Station on Ocean City’s North Point Lagoon.In that period, Porreca assisted in nearly 30 search-and-rescue operations often in coordination with the Coast Guard and the State Police Marine Unit.The Coast Guard made special note of Porreca’s coordination of interagency training and communications.Porreca’s work ranged from the initial search for a swimmer who drowned off Ninth Street Beach on June 29 to leading marine patrols for events such as Night in Venice and the Ocean City Air Show.An 18-year veteran of the Ocean City Police Department, Porreca had a boat captain’s license and extensive local knowledge of Ocean City waters when he was chosen to lead the Marine Unit. In the season, he typically patrols the water with one other officer.Coast Guard Lt. Commander C.K. Moore read the following in a presentation on Monday at the Ocean City Police Department:The commanding officer of the U.S. Coast Guard Station Atlantic City and Coast Guard Station (Small) Great Egg takes great pleasure in presenting the United States Coast Guard Certificate of Merit to Patrolman John Porreca in recognition of his service as a member of the Ocean City, New Jersey Police Department Marine Unit from May 2013 to October 2014.During this period, Officer Porreca had direct involvement in nearly 30 Coast Guard search-and-rescue cases and was vital to the success of the Coast Guard’s recreational boating safety mission. Patrolman Porreca was pivotal in the establishment of the Ocean City Police Department’s Marine Unit, and due to his efforts, there have been a notable increase in personal flotation device usage and compliance with boat outfit requirements due to his high visibility patrols and interactions with the general public.Despite the constant turnover with the crew of Coast Guard Station (Small) Great Egg, Officer Porreca maintained exceptional communication, coordination of patrols, and search-and-rescue response between agencies. Officer Porreca unselfishly shared his law enforcement experience, expertise and local area knowledge that proved critical to safe boat operations and navigation for rotating Coast Guard personnel. Officer Porreca coordinated interagency training opportunities between Coast Guard and Ocean City Police Department Marine Unit assets and equipment, increasing the overall understanding of each agency’s capabilities.This initiative was pivotal in the joint effort to locate a missing swimmer off the coast of Ocean City on June 29, 2014. Upon initial notification, Officer Porreca, along with a Coast Guard member, began the initial search on the Ocean City Police Department Marine Unit’s 24-foot Zodiac vessel, providing a force multiplier during an emotional, yet vital time during the initial response.Officer Porreca and the Ocean City Police Department Marine Unit have been at the forefront of Ocean City’s annual Night in Venice boat parade and Aerobatic Air Show, providing safety and security for the viewing public.Through his active participation and outstanding service, Officer Porreca contributed to an energetic and positive partnership between the United States Coast Guard and the Ocean City Police Department. Officer Porreca’s dedication and contributions to the City of Ocean City and the Coast Guard are most heartily commended and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Coast Guard.