Prince George's Police Department Uncovers 'Inappropriate' Incentive Program - NBC4 Washington

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Prince George's Police Department Uncovers 'Inappropriate' Incentive Program

The officers who gave the most tickets at the District 2 police station were given extra time off, Police Chief Hank Stawinski said

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    Prince George's Police Chief Deems Incentive Program 'Inappropriate'

    The top officials at the Prince George’s County Police District Two Station, which covers Bowie and Upper Marlboro, were abruptly re-assigned tonight. News4’s Jackie Bensen explains it’s due to what the police chief calls an "unauthorized incentives program." (Published Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019)

    The top officials at the Prince George’s County Police District 2 Station, which covers Bowie and Upper Marlboro, were on Wednesday abruptly reassigned.

    It’s due to what the police chief calls an unauthorized performance rewards program.

    Under the program, the officer who wrote the most tickets and citations each month was rewarded with extra time off.

    "I ended this program because I know it has the potential to erode the public's trust in the men and women of this institution," Prince George's County Police Chief Hank Stawinski said. "I don't agree with it. It's not the appropriate manner to professionally police in 2019 and it's not acceptable in Prince George's County."

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    (Published Wednesday, July 10, 2019)

    Stawinski said when he was alerted by the department’s Inspector General to what was going on at the District 2 station in Bowie on July 26, he grew concerned enough to discipline and re-assign the two top officials involved, who were both commanders. The District 2 station has new commanders, the chief said.

    The program was not illegal or done with ill will, Stawinski said at a press conference Wednesday. 

    Stawinski stressed it was not a "ticket quota," a practice that has earned great ill will for other police departments.

    He described the program as a performance rewards system where the officer who wrote the most tickets and citations in a month was declared the winner.

    He said an investigation determined it had been going on for about six months.

    Stawinski noted the department does have a sanctioned incentive program for good conduct and safety.

    According to Stawinski, the Inspector General uncovered no citizen complaints tied to this but he urges people who have concerns to reach out to the department. You can email them at police_oig@co.pg.md.us.

    Just last month, it was revealed that some Prince George's County Police Officers went against department policy and wrongfully referred some people to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Stawinski said that those officers were acting in good faith and made a mistake.

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