The Prince Georges' County Police Department is making changes in response to the nine homicides that happened within the first nine days of the new year.
It’s only the 10th day of 2011, but already Prince George’s County has recorded nine homicides. This morning, interim police Chief Mark Magaw released a plan that he hopes will stem the tide.
The county’s most recent homicide happened Saturday night along the 3100 block of Dynasty Drive in Forestville, Md. Police said that when they arrived they found Corteza Livingston, 21, suffering from a gunshot wound.
He was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. A second victim also was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Police believe the shooting stemmed from a domestic dispute.
Some of the homicides have been drug-related, authorities said, but others have been domestic, which are harder to predict, NBC Washington's Derrick Ward reported.
Unfortunately, these reports have been all too common for a year that just began. But Prince George’s County police said they are not willing to let it continue.
In a statement, Magaw said:
“We will stop the unacceptably high level of violence which has plagued our inner Beltway communities since the beginning of the year. This will be a concerted, sustained effort that will include the PGPD, Office of the Sheriff, municipal police departments, Federal agencies, and community and business leaders. Together, we are a formidable force that will bring calm to all segments of our county.”
Magaw detailed several measures the department will take to stop the violence. About 24 county detectives will be transferred to special enforcement divisions, including criminal investigation, narcotic enforcement and federal task forces.
The county will also work with the sheriff’s office to serve warrants in the most highly affected areas, and will use conference calls will local departments to coordinate operations.
One of the county’s police majors, Joseph McCann, will now oversee special operations in three of the most highly affected districts in the county.
And police plan on holding regular meetings with community and business leaders to enlist their help in fighting crime.
The chief, Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker and other officials will hold a meeting on crime and homicides at some point this week, Ward reported.