Prince George’s County, A county known throughout the nation as the wealthiest African-American county in the whole United States. What isn’t known however is the amount of violence that has plagued this area over the past couple of years. But no year has begun quite like this year.
On Tuesday January 11, 2011, Prince George’s County police say a man was killed while trying to break into a home in the New Carrollton area, marking the 12th homicide in the county this year already. Twelve homicides in PG County, and the New Year started a mere twelve days ago. If you cannot do the simple math, that is an average of one homicide a day just in this county alone. To put these numbers in perspective, in 2009 PG County reported 99 homicides and in 2010 that number dropped to 90. As of today, PG County is on pace to record a staggering 365 homicides this year!
Who is to blame for this? In 2010 PG County Police Chief Robert Hylton touted a record-low crime rate, and praised the efforts of his police department. Fast forward to 2011, Hylton is no longer the police chief of this county, and that record low crime rate that he so proudly bragged about just a year ago is now on pace to reach record numbers. So does the community now bad mouth the efforts of that same department seeing as though the area’s crime rate has been on the rise since the start of the new-year? Prince George’s County officials continue to stress that these acts of violence are not random, and that the community isn’t in any added danger. Deputy Police Chief Kevin Davis even went as far as saying, “It’s important for folks to know that the lifestyle of these victims has greatly contributed to where they are in life.” The quotes from some of Prince George’s County top police executives don’t stop there. “The fact that [the crimes] are disconnected makes it much more difficult to prevent,” said Maj. Andrew Ellis, the department of public affairs commander.
I find so much wrong with the many quotes from the very people who are supposed to help stop the violence in this county. Their job as top police officials in this area is to find ways to prevent violence, that’s their number one responsibility. So saying its “difficult to prevent” doesn’t make anyone that lives in this area feel at ease. There are problems and major concerns right outside of our windows and something has to be done about it. If the people we have in office can’t prevent it, then someone who is qualified enough to do so needs to be brought in immediately before this becomes somewhat of an epidemic.
What’s crazy is that as I typed up this last paragraph I looked up at NBC 4 to see a record 13th homicide in Prince George’s County. Epidemic may be an understatement.