Over 100 additional Prince George’s County Police Officers are cracking down on crime this month—taking a tougher stance on keeping homicides down.
This time last year, there were 12 murders in the county.
“It's gone from safe to where sometimes you're afraid to go out your front door...with shootings, and everything like that. That wasn't here when I was growing up,” said lifelong Temple Hills resident Debbie Huke.
Prince George’s County Police say overall crime was actually down last year, but they did see an uptick in criminal homicides—95 in total. That figure is five more than in 2010.
January is the most violent month. “What January of 2011 did is it put this community, and police department in the hole fighting crime. The fact that we were down by 3800 total crime last year, was diminished by that January,” said Prince George’s County Assistant Police Chief Kevin Davis.
Making sure there isn’t another spike in violence, Davis says they are increasing patrols, mostly inside the beltway this month. They are also planning to use a similar strategy in May and August. “We have 150 extra police officers on the street each and every night, on top of our regularly scheduled patrol officers and detectives,” he said.
Barring some scheduling adjustments, the evening and early morning hours will be covered seven days a week. “Whether it's gang or traffic enforcement, robbery suppression, narcotic enforcement..they're all working in places we need them to be,” Davis added.
The initiative began at the first of the month, and has proved to be a success so far—the number of homicides is down 75 percent. “We have three so far in January 2012, and this time last year, as everyone remembers we had 12,” he said.
Clinton resident Earsie Lee says she appreciates the extra security, but is still taking her own precautions. “For my home we have ADT, for the car we got the alarm system, and I carry a little alert thing on my keychain.”