Three police officers, including a major, will be in charge of the day-to-day running of the Hyattsville District police station instead of one captain, as a result of a reorganization this week of the Prince George's County Police Department.
Under the new plan, termed an experiment by Chief John W. Rhoads, Maj. James Ross will replace Capt. Daniel Robertson as district commander at Hyattsville, the county's largest police station.
Ross will be assisted by two captains, Albert L. Corley and Richard Shaner. Robertson has been transferred to the department planning division.
In explaining the new plan, Rhoads cited the size of the station. Of the 834 members of the county's police, 191 work in Hyattsville.
"It's just too big a job for one man to handle," Rhoads said. The other four district stations will continue with one captain in command.
Although the size of the station was cited as the official reason for the change, sources within the department indicated that Hyattsville was also targeted because of problems there this year.
It was in the Hyattsville station that two officers were fatally shot last June, allegedly by a 15-year-old Bladensburg youth.
Hyattsville was also considered the most militant of the district stations during the eight-day job action staged by county police in early July because of a contract dispute.
"I'm sure the size of the station had something to do with this, but the bottom line is the trouble they've had there," said Laney Hester, county Fraternal Order of Police president. "They just wanted to have more guys with more power over there to make sure everything was kept under control.
"The guys did pretty much as they pleased over there during the job action. They all like Dan (Robertson), but there wasn't anything he could do to stop them."
Rhoads is expected to decide whether to expand the experiment or terminate it in January.