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Crime Plummets In Prince George's As Police Target 67 Criminals | News

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Crime Plummets In Prince George's As Police Target 67 Criminals

PALMER PARK, Md. (WUSA) -- The violent crime rate in Prince George's County plummeted 12.1% during the first 9 months of 2011 due in part to the targeting of 67 known offenders in 5 different neighborhoods, police said Wednesday.

"We basically called them in,  explained what the summer initiative was and basically said, 'what do you need?'", said Prince George's County Police Chief Mark Magaw.

Magaw said the targeted violent offenders, who were identified by parole and probation records, were offered everything from food stamps to job programs and told that police were keeping a close eye on them throughout the summer.

The meetings with offenders occured in police stations and were attended by representatives from social service agencies and non-profits.

"Not one of them has been arrested in Prince George's since then," Magaw said.

Five neighborhoods were targeted for what police called their "summer crime initiative."  The areas are:  Riverdale, Langley Park, Suitland, Glassmanor and Hillcrest Heights.

Violent crime in the targeted areas was down from 9.7% in Suitland to 23.2% in Hillcrest Heights for the first 9 months of 2011.

Countywide, violent crime is down 12.1%, property crime is down 8.4% and the overall crime rate is down 9.0% for the first nine months of 2011, police said.

The initiative was part of a continuing response to a spike in murders that drove up the crime rate during the first three weeks of January 2011.   Because of the spike, the number of homicides in 2011 still outpaces the same time period in 2010.