Bikini-clad Ocean City police officers are keeping a close eye on beach photographers since a woman complained that a man claiming to be scouting for models who had taken pictures of her 12-year-old daughter.
Jay Hancock, a spokesman for the Ocean City Police Department, said the Baltimore-area woman reported three weeks ago that the photographer had asked her daughter and the girl's friends for their home addresses.
The undercover police initiative came to light yesterday when police briefly detained and questioned Art Baltrotsky, a free-lance photographer on assignment for The Sun.
"So the last few weeks, photographers have been caught in the middle of things," said Ocean City Mayor James N. Mathias, who knows Baltrotsky.
Mathias said he was home listening to a police radio when he heard officers broadcast Baltrotsky's name to check his credentials.
Mathias said he called the department to vouch for the photographer, who has been taking pictures for area newspapers -- and for the municipality of Ocean City -- for several years.
Mathias also said that a week ago the undercover officers noticed a man violating another picture-taking rule -- offering to take instant photos and sell them to people on the beach.
The city each year awards contracts to a photo vendor for exclusive commercial rights, he said.
Pub Date: 9/01/97