School children are being murdered on the streets far away from schools and outside school hours. County Executive Baker criticizes the elected board of education for the failure of his police to protect these children.
While the homicide rate is down some, progress in reducing them has been very slow. Prince George's County has the second worst homicide record in the state and the second worst record in the D.C. area.
Despite Baker's self-serving claim that "You look at public safety, it’s going in the right direction," the murder rate remains several times that of nearby suburban jurisdictions.
The Prince George's County police department has a long record of using excessive force and outright brutality, both on and off the job. Several former police officers are currently in prison for robbery, corruption, and even murder.
The county has had numerous chiefs of police over the past several years.
We have to do something about the homicides, we can't wait any longer.
So, let's look at the Baker school improvement plan and see if we can apply it to crime and the police.
Proposal for Integrated Police Governance of Prince George’s County Police
Innovative plan changes police governance structure to better align
government resources and improve police operations
government resources and improve police operations
A proposal to alter the governance structure of the Prince George's County police. The Integrated Police Governance Proposal for Prince George’s County Police would keep the current County Executive and County Council, expand the expertise on the council through certain appointments, focus the council on crime-fighting policy, strengthen the role of the chief of police and give the Governor the authority to appoint the chief of police. Under the proposal, the Maryland General Assembly would confirm the chief of police as well as have authorization to appoint a voting member to the County Council. Ultimately, this proposal gives the chief of police more control over police operations and greater, more efficient access to other State and County government resources.
“I firmly believe the people of Prince George’s County deserve the best police protection possible." This proposal is an effort to make our streets safer by using all the resources the County government has to offer so that our residents and their families have the tools they need to be successful. I am confident, that by providing the chief of police with more autonomy, giving the police department more resources, and expanding the law enforcement expertise of the county council, our police will be able to serve the residents and families of Prince George’s County in a more holistic manner.”
Under this proposal, the needs of the police department will be better aligned with Maryland State Government services and resources. Integrated Police Governance will accelerate improvements across the police department and, through the chief of police, give the state government more oversight of operations of the County’s police. It will restore the public’s confidence in the police department and help stem the exodus of families out of the County because of the county's declining reputation and image. It will also assure accountability for the success of the police department.
It is critical to note that, under the Integrated Police Governance proposal, the elected County Executive and County Council will remain as an elected body serving the same districts. Additionally, under this proposal, three voting appointed members would be added to the County Council, representing the fields of law enforcement, business victims, and individual victims, along with three non-voting appointed representatives from the law enforcement faculties of three of the County’s institutions of higher learning - Bowie State University, Prince George’s Community College (PGCC), and the University of Maryland, College Park.
The additional members will represent interests that are currently not reflected on the council: a background in law enforcement and two types of crime victims. This expansion would focus decision-making on the safety of our residents of our children as well as increase victim engagement. By including members representing the higher education community, the council could direct academic resources so that County police become better prepared to fight crime and protect the public.
If passed by the General Assembly, an Integrated Police Governance Transition Team would be immediately formed to analyze, review, and propose an implementation plan. They could evaluate the current chief of police and determine whether to begin a search search process to find a new chief. It is critically important for candidates for chief of police to know who they will be reporting to and what police governance will look like.
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