State task serves more than 800 Pr. George’s warrants

September 29, 2011

Prince George’s sheriff’s deputies working with a state task force served more than 800 warrants in August as part of a special initiative aimed at reducing the county’s massive warrant backlog, authorities said Thursday.

Those on the task force made 4,144 attempts to serve warrants over the month-long period — about 1,000 more than deputies might have been able to make normally, authorities said. In total, they served 818 warrants — including two for murder, six for attempted murder, four for rape and 72 for first-degree assault, authorities said.

The task force, led by Prince George’s Sheriff’s deputies, was funded with $250,000 in federal grant money routed through the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention, authorities said. The money mainly helped pay for overtime that allowed deputies and others to do more thorough investigative work before serving the warrants, authorities said.

State and local officials, including Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley and Prince George’s Sheriff Melvin C. High, hailed the work of the task force at a news conference Thursday. High said the task force helped bring the Prince George’s warrant backlog, which stood about 50,000 earlier this year, down to about 47,400. About 470 of those warrants, he said, are for violent offenders — some of whom have already been arrested in other jurisdictions.

High said deputies are now able to manage the daily inflow of warrants and make efforts to serve the old ones.

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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