OCEAN CITY, MD. (AP) - Ocean City, Maryland, a topless beach? Now, now. Keep your shirt on.
Officials in the family friendly resort town say no such thing is happening, despite some assumptions on social media.
This week, the head of the beach patrol said that lifeguards will no longer approach and scold women who are topless.
After all, lifeguards should be looking at the ocean to keep swimmers safe.
But some on social media assumed this meant toplessness will be allowed.
The town said on its Facebook page Friday that police will deal with complaints about toplessness. The post added officials will do "whatever is necessary" to prevent toplessness from happening on the beach or any public area in Ocean City.
The following statement was released Friday:
"Despite many reports and social media posts, the Town of Ocean City is not a topless beach and will not become a topless beach, town officials pledge. The intent of the policy that is being reported on was strictly for our Beach Patrol employees. We want our lifeguards to have their eyes on the ocean, as the safety of our swimmers is their first priority. Our police department, on the other hand, will respond to calls from the Beach Patrol and complaints from our beach patrons, should any activity of toplessness occur.
“The Mayor and City Council are unanimously opposed to women being topless on our beach or in any public area in Ocean City,” stated Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan. “While we respect Ms. Covington’s desire to express what rights she believes she may have, Ocean City is a family resort and we intend to do whatever is within our ability to also protect the rights of those families that visit us each year.”
This matter was brought to our attention when the Worcester County State’s Attorney’s Office received a request from a woman who believed it was her constitutional right to be bare-chested on Ocean City’s beach. At that time, the State’s Attorney reached out to the Maryland Attorney General’s Office for an opinion on the matter, which the Town of Ocean City is still anxiously awaiting."
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