Pr. George’s police to focus on five areas for summer crime initiative

Prince George’s County police are assigning more patrol officers and investigators to five “focus areas” this summer in an effort to curb crime in communities that have seen the most violence, authorities said.

The effort, which kicks off May 22 and runs through Sept. 5, will assign more officers to Langley Park, Riverdale, Suitland, Hillcrest Heights and Glassmanor — which have been plagued by the most murders, non-fatal shootings, carjackings and robberies, based on crime statistics from March 2010 to March 2011, authorities said.

Gang and drug investigators will work cases specifically in those five areas, and overlap squads and sworn police officers doing administrative tasks will be re-assigned to extra patrols there, authorities said.

Police commanders are focusing particularly on curbing violence committed by known violent offenders this year, and they will have weekly meetings with the state’s attorney’s office other county agencies to assess how the initiative is going, authorities said. Officials are hoping especially to curb the number of murders: Prince George’s already has seen 46 homicides this year, including fatal police shootings and a killing deemed justified. Last year this time, the county had 34.

Matt Zapotosky covers the federal district courthouse in Alexandria, where he tries to break news from a windowless office in which he is not allowed to bring his cell phone.
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