Prince George's County Police 'Following the Firearms' to Close More Cases - NBC4 Washington

Prince George's County Police 'Following the Firearms' to Close More Cases



    Prince George's County Bureau Chief Tracee Wilkins reports on the "Following the Firearm" gun safety initiative. (Published Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2013)

    As summer winds down and students get ready to go back to school, Prince George’s County police are using a new tactic to keep everyone safer.

    Some of the weapons they've recovered through the “Follow the Firearm” program have already helped solved crimes.

    Each gun police recover has a story tell a story.

    “We’re going to find out where it came from, whose hands it passed through,” Deputy Chief Hank Stawinski said.

    Recovered weapons have helped Prince George’s police close a number of cases, including the Markel Ross murder case. A .38-caliber revolver recovered after an armed robbery turned out to be the same weapon used to shoot and kill Ross, a high school student murdered on his way to school. The gun was also tied to other crimes.

    “We are very good at arresting the individual who uses the firearm, but up to this point we have not identified and prosecuted those who traffic in those firearms,” Stawinski said.

    Crime is down in the county, and the chief says the 17 percent drop in violent crime and 25 percent drop in shootings gives the department room to enhance its police work.