Governor attends monthly crime meeting and announces details of the County’s successful warrant initiative
PALMER PARK, MD (September 29, 2011) - Governor Martin O’Malley today got a first-hand look at public safety accomplishments in Prince George’s County. At a monthly meeting of county law enforcement, local officials reviewed their successful programs to fight crime, and discussed ways to strengthen the existing partnerships linking county and state law enforcement. State officials attending the meeting included Colonel Marcus Brown, superintendent of the Maryland State Police; Gary Maynard, secretary of the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services; Sam Abed, secretary of the Department of Juvenile Services; and Kristen Mahoney, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Crime Control & Prevention.
Following the county’s law enforcement monthly meeting, Governor O’Malley announced the results of a recent warrant initiative in Prince George’s County. From August 2nd through August 27th, 719 offenders were arrested or kept behind bars, charged with crimes including attempted murder, rape and sexual assault, child abuse and drug distribution. Those arrests resulted in the closing of 818 warrants. The warrant initiative is part of intensified crime fighting efforts in the county and was led by the Prince George’s County Sheriff’s Office, with the participation of the Maryland Division of Parole and Probation, the Maryland State Police, the Prince George’s County Police Department and the U.S. Marshals Service. Thirty–nine law enforcement officers organized into nine teams took part in the initiative.
“Working with our partners in law enforcement, we are removing violent offenders off the streets and putting them behind bars,” said Governor O’Malley. “Even in tough times, we’ve protected our investments in public safety, maintaining our commitment to protecting Maryland neighborhoods and families. Thanks to these efforts, together, we’ve driven violent crime, property crime and total crime to historically low rates.”
The initiative was funded by the Governor’s Office of Crime Control & Prevention (GOCCP) with $250,000 from the federal Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (BJAG) Program. Governor O’Malley thanked all the members of the Maryland Congressional delegation for supporting Maryland’s public safety efforts, and he singled out the important contribution made by Senator Barbara Mikulski. Senator Mikulski is chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science which funds the BJAG program.
“Today’s announcement demonstrates Governor Martin O’Malley’s commitment to making Prince George’s County safer for all our residents,” said Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III. “I thank the Governor, Lt. Governor Brown, the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention, and Senator Mikulski for their partnership in this effort to improve public safety in the County. I also want to thank and acknowledge the great work of Sheriff High and the Prince George’s County Sheriff’s Department. We are truly blessed to have Sheriff High’s experience, leadership, and wisdom back in Prince George’s County.”
The Sheriff’s Office has responsibility for warrant service in Prince George’s County and took the lead in this coordinated operation.
“The support from the Governor and the County Executive for the Warrant Task Force was a tremendous boost for law enforcement in the county,” said Prince George’s County Sheriff Melvin C. High. “These resources were well-spent to protect public safety by getting violent offenders off the streets.”
Prince George’s County law enforcement has worked to bring crime to record lows. Last year, violent crime in the County was down 6.3% and down to the lowest rate since 1978. Property crime was down 3.3% to the lowest rate since 1975, and total crimes declined 3.8%, also the lowest rate since 1975.