New Year’s Day had come and gone but for some of the state’s top law enforcement and elected officials gathered in Woodmore Town Centre a significant drop in crime meant there was still plenty to celebrate Jan. 2.
"Today we are here to tell the region and the state that Prince George’s County is a safe place to live, invest, work and visit," Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III said at the news conference to announce statistics that show a 12 percent crime drop from 2012 to 2013.
Baker was joined by Prince George’s Police Department (PGPD) Chief of Police Mark Magaw, Gov. Martin O’Malley, State’s Attorney Angela D. Alsobrooks, County Sheriff Melvin C. High and Prince George’s Council Chair Mel Franklin (D-District 9).
The officials were trumpeting a downward spiral in crime that swelled last year and used the shopping center—and a recent addition to the county’s commercial profile—as a backdrop.
“We chose this location because of the great work Wegmans is doing for the community,” Baker said during the news conference. “Decreasing crimes helps businesses in the community have a better way of life.”
According to police data, the numbers of homicides, forcible rapes, robberies, carjackings and assaults dropped from a total of 4,424 in 2012 to 3,794 in 2013.
For property crimes, which include burglary, larceny and vehicle theft, the total in 2012 was 25, 835. The total in 2013 was 22,828.
Since 2010, the numbers show, crime has gone down a total of 27 percent, with homicides down 38 percent.
“To reduce homicides by almost 40 percent since 2010 is a huge accomplishment,” O’Malley said during the news conference. “We can reduce the number of moms and dads at graveyard sites.”
In 2013, there were only 56 homicides in Prince George’s County, the lowest rate since 1986 where there were 55.
“We are not satisfied and we are not yet done,” Magaw said during the news conference. “In fact, we are actually just getting started.”