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Senior Mark Boiko Is Learning the True Meaning of “Protect and Serve”

Katherine Stohlman, C'19

Mark Boiko

Mark Boiko, C’23, is spending his summer in Ocean City, Maryland—but he’s not there just to enjoy the waves. He works in the Ocean City Police Department (OCPD), as a member of the seasonal officer program. Coming out of a rigorous application and training process and a May swearing-in, he works the “midnight shift” with his fellow officers as he strives to serve the community.

boiko-in-text.jpegBoiko, a Long Valley, New Jersey native, discovered Mount St. Mary’s after being recruited for the swim team, which he now leads as a captain. But it was the strong sociology and criminal justice department and the close-knit community he encountered during his visits that sealed the deal. “My priority was finding a school where I could develop a strong relationship with my professors and peers,” he said of his college search. Believing that he had found that in the Mount, Boiko enrolled as a criminal justice major.

Fittingly, he first heard about the OCPD seasonal office program after some of his criminal justice professors invited OCPD officers to present to students on it. Interested, Boiko spent a few days in Ocean City alongside 116 potential recruits. This initial testing weekend included a physical test, a written exam, and the first round of interviews, and only 74 continued to the next phases of the recruitment process.

All in all, Boiko underwent a background check, a polygraph exam, a drug test, a psychological evaluation, and several rounds of interviews before being admitted to summer training at the Eastern Shore Criminal Justice Academy. While there, he completed his spring classes online. He was one of 32 provisional officers sworn into the OCPD on Memorial Day.

Now Boiko, who is exploring a career in federal law enforcement, works as a full-time officer alongside year-round police. His shift begins each night at 10 p.m. and doesn’t end until 8 a.m. the next morning. As for a typical day on the job? “There is really no typical day…the first priority is to answer ‘calls for service’ which are 911 calls that range from a noise violation to a life-threatening situation like a stabbing. We back up fellow officers if needed and patrol the city.” He shared that he loves the variety found in the job and all the learning opportunities that come with it.

midnight-shift-summer-2022-a2-edited.jpgBoiko hopes to pursue a career in law enforcement after graduating from the Mount, possibly even in a maritime and harbor search and rescue unit. In the meantime, he’s getting real-world experience in the OCPD, and he looks forward to discussing his summer and future path with his professors this fall. Jack Trammell, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Sociology, Criminal Justice, and Human Services, expressed the importance of the “eagerness and the contributions students like Mark are willing and ready to make to the world even while they are enrolled as current students at the Mount.  We are very proud of his summer work and accomplishment, but even more excited about the promise this reveals about his future.”

Ultimately, Boiko’s desire truly is to protect and serve, and working in law enforcement is a vital, hands-on way to be of service to others. Emphasizing the duties of a police officer to those around him, he explained that the top priorities on the job are making sure that “all officers go home to their families at the end of a shift,” and that the community knows that Boiko and his fellow police are there, working hard to keep them safe.

Katherine Stohlman, C'19