More than 700 Violent Criminals Arrested in PG
10/03/2011
Washington Examiner

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Prince George's County sheriff's deputies served more than 800 warrants during four weeks in August, doubling their efforts with the coordinated help of local and state law enforcement agents. The warrant initiative, paid for by a $250,000 federal grant, brought 39 law enforcement officers together to focus on outstanding warrants for the most violent of the county's criminals.

From Aug. 2 to Aug. 27, sheriff's deputies attempted to serve more than 4,000 warrants, and successfully served 818 of them.

As a result, 719 offenders were arrested.

Among those taken off the street were offenders with some of the most dangerous criminal charges: two for murder, six for attempted murder, four for rape, five for child abuse, and 72 for first-degree assault.

"As we arrest the most violent offenders in our community and serving these warrants, we are most likely preventing another crime from occurring," said Prince George's County Sheriff Melvin High.

Gov. Martin O'Malley on Thursday announced the results of the warrant initiative, which was administered by the Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention.

With Prince George's County sheriff's deputies, law enforcement officers from the Prince George's County police, state police and Maryland Department of Parole and Probation, and the U.S. Marshals Service participated in the effort.

Deputies were able to attempt to serve between 300 to 400 additional warrants each week thanks to the extra help, according to High.

Grant funds were spent on overtime for the officers conducting investigations into the warrants and working late at night serving warrants at suspects' homes.

"That's a lot of work and a lot of dedicated law enforcement efforts in the middle of the night, going out and knocking on the right doors to keep these communities safe," O'Malley said.

The extra warrants served in August helped reduce the backlog of outstanding warrants the sheriff's office faced earlier this year. There were more than 55,000 outstanding warrants in March, but now that number is down to about 47,000, according to High.

Deputies also are keeping up with all new warrants issued by the court to prevent the backlog from growing.

High currently employs four squads to handle warrants, with about seven deputies per squad. To sustain the level of success the department found in August, another two squads would need to be added, he said.