Prince George's County Sheriff's Office
|Office of the Sheriff, Prince George's County|
|Common name||Prince George's County Sheriff's Office|
|Patch of the Prince George's County Sheriff's Office|
|Badge of the Prince George's County Sheriff's Office|
|Flag of Prince George's County, Maryland|
|Legal personality||Governmental: Government agency|
|Operations jurisdiction*||County of Prince George's in the state of Maryland, U.S.|
|The Prince George's County Sheriff's Office's jurisdiction|
|Size||498 square miles (1,290 km2)|
|Legal jurisdiction||State of Maryland (common law)|
|Headquarters||5303 Chrysler Way, Upper Marlboro, Maryland, U.S., 20772
|Agency executive||Melvin C. High, Sheriff|
|Patrol cars||Chevrolet Impala|
|* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.|
The Prince George's County Sheriff's Office (PGSO), officially the Office of the Sheriff, Prince George's County, provides law enforcement services in Prince George's County, Maryland in the United States. Its headquarters is located in Upper Marlboro. The Sheriff is the chief law enforcement officer of Prince George's County and is elected by popular vote of the citizens every four years. There are no term limits for the office of sheriff.
Created in 1696, the traditional duties of the Sheriff are keeper of the public peace and the enforcement arm of the county court, analogous to the U.S. Marshals Service. The PGSO has a relatively long history embedded within Maryland and the United States. The PGSO was involved with events that occurred during the burning of Washington and affected the writing of the "The Star-Spangled Banner". Prior to 1931, the PGSO was the sole law enforcement organization within the county.
Today, the general duties of the Sheriff's Office include service of court-ordered warrants, writs, protective orders, and other injunctions. The Domestic Violence Unit has expanded its role in the county to include responding to calls for service that are domestic-related. The creation of the School Resource Deputy division has placed a deputy sheriff at all of the local high schools, replacing the County Police. All other law enforcement services of the county are provided by multiple agencies but mostly left to the separate Prince George's County Police Department, though some responsibilities are shared by both agencies. The PGSO, like most other county-level law enforcement agencies, is a progressive agency with an array of services from a Specialized Services Team dealing with high-risk arrest warrants and barricade situations to Community Services aiding the county citizens in safety education.
- 1 Authority
- 2 History
- 3 Duties
- 4 Organization
- 5 Sheriffs
- 6 Rank structure
- 7 Fleet
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
The Sheriff of Prince George's County is the chief law enforcement official of Prince George's County per Maryland common law. All deputy sheriffs are certified, sworn law enforcement officials with full power of arrest as granted by the Constitution of Maryland, the MPCTC, and the Sheriff of Prince George's County. All sworn members of the sheriff's office are agents of the state of Maryland and thus have authority throughout the entire state, although direct jurisdiction is limited to the Seventh Judicial Circuit of Maryland (which includes: Calvert County, Charles County, Prince George's County, and St. Mary's County).
The Sheriff's Office for Prince George's County was founded April 22, 1696. The governor of Maryland, Sir Francis Nicholson, appointed Thomas Greenfield as the first Sheriff. The St. Paul's Church in Charlestown held the headquarters for the Sheriff's Office until the 1720s when it was relocated to the town of Upper Marlboro. At the time of the 18th Century, there was no set salary for the county sheriff, but he was often paid in hogsheads (huge wooden barrels) of tobacco.
During the War of 1812, (1812-1815), an interesting incident occurred involving the Prince George's County Jail, when local prominent resident Dr. William Beanes, (1775-1824) captured several marauding British Army deserters from the passing army of Gen. Robert Ross (British Army officer)|General Robert Ross (1766-1814) and Vice Admiral, Sir George Cockburn, (1772-1853), and held them in the County Jail, after he had treated several wounded "Redcoat" soldiers in their march on to Washington and the disastrous Battle of Bladensburg on the Eastern Branch stream of the Anacostia River in August 1814. Later he was arrested along with several others including Robert Bowie, former 11th Governor of Maryland (1803-1806, 1811-1812) by retreating British Cavalry on orders from Ross who had stayed in his home as headquarters. Later Francis Scott Key (1779-1843), a Georgetown and Frederick lawyer with Col. John S. Skinner, U.S. Prisoner-of-War and Parole Agent went to Baltimore secured a small sailing ship, the "Minden" and sailed down the Patapsco River and the Chesapeake Bay to find the British Royal Navy fleet after leaving the Patuxent River, beating up the Bay from their base on Tangier Island, Virginia heading for their attack on the hated "nest of pirates" - Baltimore. After being received and negotiating with General Ross, Admiral Cockburn and their superior, Admiral Sir Alexander Cochrane, (1758-1832), and showing him some letters written by captured British wounded soldiers testifying to the fair treatment Beanes had given them and tended to them, they agreed to free him but that would be held up until they could celebrate after the Burning of Baltimore following their attack on Fort McHenry and landing troops to the east at North Point. Well, the famous story has been told, how the General was killed prior to the skirmishing at the Battle of North Point on September 12, how the advancing British under successor, Col. Arthur Brooke led the British regiments to face the 20,000 drafted and volunteer citizens and militia under the determined overall command of Maj. Gen. Samuel Smith, (1752-1839), of the Maryland Militia on the eastern heights of "Loudenschlager's Hill" (later known as "Hampstead Hill" in modern Patterson Park, between Highlandtown and Canton neighborhoods) whose dug-in fortifications and dragged cannon were so numerous that the "Redcoats" halted in their tracks and decided to await the shelling of the Fort which guarded the entrances to the Harbor to pass into the inner port and the waterfront of famous Fells Point. Following the failure of the fort to fall to two days of "the rockets' red glare and the bombs bursting in air" and their flanking troop-loaded barge attack around the west end but driven back by alert artillery seamen at Forts Covington and Babcock in a driving night rainstorm, the British fleet turned about and set sail. Key and his companions Beanes and Skinner who were startled, amazed and emotionally overcome to see a huge 30 by 42 foot banner being raised in the light of the early morning with the distant booming of the morning's gun salute, knew that the fort and the city had held. When they landed at "The Basin" (modern "Inner Harbor") and Key finished up his draft of a new poem "The Defence of Fort McHenry" at the Indian Queen Hotel at West Baltimore and Hanover Streets, (later to be set to music in a few days) and sung lustily through the city, performed on the stage at the famed Holliday Street Theatre, and then soon throughout the state and soon the nation as "The Star Spangled Banner". Beanes, drunken Britishers and the PG County Jail had started all that.
The headquarters for the Sheriff's Office was held in the county seat of Upper Marlboro until 2000, when the sitting Sheriff, Al Black, moved it to the nearby town of Largo where it resided until August 2008. His successor, Sheriff Michael A. Jackson returned the office headquarters back to Upper Marlboro where it is currently located. He was succeeded by Sheriff Melvin High in 2010.
Line of duty deaths
To date, there have been two deputy sheriffs killed in the line of duty, both in August 2002.
|Officer||End of Watch||Details|
|Deputy First Class Elizabeth "Liz" Licera Magruder||
|Sergeant James Victor "Jim" Arnaud||
War of 1812
During the War of 1812, at the time of the Burning of Washington, D.C., the sheriff's office became involved in an occurrence that led to the writing of the American national anthem. As the British Army marched from Washington they passed through Prince George's County. Because the residents had cooperated with the British, the commander ensured that minimal damage was inflicted upon the local residents and their property. After the Battle of Bladensburg, the British Army returned to the area of Upper Marlboro. However, this time some of the British soldiers looted local farms. A sheriff's posse subsequently arrested the offending soldiers and placed them in the county jail. Upon learning about the arrest of his soldiers, the British commander ordered the arrest of the sheriff and the posse in turn. One of the posse members was Dr. William Beam. Beam was ultimately arrested and held for ransom on a British warship. Beam's brother-in-law, Francis Scott Key, went to Baltimore Harbor in search of him. He witnessed the British fleet under attack which was the inspiration of the Star Spangled Banner.
1929: Sheriff-Police split
In 1929, due to an increase in population and crime, Prince George's County created a separate police department. Prior to this time, laws allowed detectives to be used on loan from the Baltimore City Police Department. The newly created police department allowed the Sheriff's Office to focus its manpower on enforcing orders of the court.
2002: Deputies killed in the line of duty
On the night of August 29, 2002, Corporal James Victor "Jim" Arnaud, 53, and Deputy Elizabeth "Liz" Licera Magruder, 30, were killed in the line of duty while trying to serve an Emergency Petition Service (EPS), a court-ordered psychological evaluation, on James Ramiah Logan, a 23-year-old High Point High School graduate.
At 9:30 p.m., on the night of August 29, 2002, Corporal Arnaud and Deputy Magruder were at the residence of James Ramiah Logan at 9332 Lynmont Drive in Adelphi, Maryland to serve a petition for a psychiatric evaluation. Logan's father led the two deputies inside the house, where Logan was in the basement conducting a bible study. Logan, who had been smoking marijuana earlier in the day, was asked by Arnaud to come with him, but he declined. Logan went into a bedroom, where Arnaud and Magruder followed him. Logan's parents were in the master bedroom at the time. As the two deptuies were standing outside the bedroom door, Logan opened the door and fired at them, striking Arnaud six times, in the carotid artery and liver, and Magruder once in the back of the head, as she tried to retreat into cover. Arnaud would die at the scene, but the mortally-wounded Magruder was able to call for assistance over her radio at 9:34 p.m. Logan's father called 911 at 9:39 p.m. to report the shooting. Magruder was rushed to the Prince George's Hospital Center, where she was pronounced dead.
Logan fled the scene with Anthony A. Kromah and was apprehended two days later; Logan was found hiding in a shed and police officers used a taser and a police dog to subdue him. He was interviewed by PGPD detective, Vincent Canales for approximately three-and-a-half hours, where he admitted to the crime. Logan was initially tried, convicted, and sentenced to one hundred years' imprisonment in 2003. However, two years later, in 2005, the decision was overturned on appeal and Logan was awarded a second trial. Logan's first attempt at a retrial ended in June 2007 with a mistrial after jurors couldn't come to a verdict after ten hours of deliberations. However, a few months later, he was subsequently convicted again and sentenced to thirty years imprisonment in October 2007, much to the chagrin of the deputies' surviving family members, who felt he deserved life imprisonment.
Arnaud was posthumously promoted to Sergeant, and Magruder was posthumously promoted to Deputy First Class. Arnaud is survived by his wife, Theresa, and several children; Magruder is survived by her husband Derwinn and her three-year-old son Devinn.
2008: Deputy wounded in Laurel
On February 16, 2008 at approximately 3:30 am, a PGSO SWAT team member was shot and critically wounded while serving a warrant as part of a task force with Deputy U.S. Marshals. The suspect, Aaron M. Lowry, was wanted for the shooting of a Washington, D.C. police officer from the day prior. The injured deputy was flown to Baltimore Shock Trauma Center where he had surgery and was upgraded to serious but stable condition, and survived.
As of May 2013, the Prince George's County Sheriff's Office is headed by Sheriff Melvin High, who was on his first term as of 2011. The agency is also unique among other Maryland counties in that it has both a sheriff's office and a county police. Along with its traditional duties as the enforcement arm of the court, the Prince George's County Sheriff's Office responds to all 9-1-1 calls that are domestic-related within District III, has a Deputy (School Resource Deputy) assigned to each of its 20 high schools but recently those duties will be transferred back to the Prince George's County Police Department, and has authority to enforce traffic infractions anywhere in the county.
The sheriff is elected by the citizens of Prince George's County. The rank structure of the remaining members of the Sheriff's Office is modeled after the U.S. military. The ranks of student deputy through corporal are non-competitive. sergeant through captain are competitive. Lieutenant colonel (Assistant Sheriff) and colonel (Chief Assistant Sheriff) are appointed by, and serve at the pleasure of the sheriff.
The PGSO is divided into three bureaus:
Bureau of Court Services
Court services is based out of the court complex located within the municipality of Upper Marlboro and is responsible for the safety and security of the circuit court in Upper Marlboro, transportation of inmates, and to provide assistant security and law enforcement services to the District Court in Upper Marlboro and Hyattsville, as well as domestic violence liaison services. The Bureau of Court Services is subdivided into four sections: Circuit Court, District Court, Transportation, and Building Security. Specifically, the bureau is responsible for the safety and security of the 7th Judicial Circuit for the state of Maryland and the District Court for Prince George's County located within the court complexes and adjacent property in Upper Marlboro and Hyattsville. Yearly, between the Circuit Court, District Court, Transportation, and Building Security Sections, the bureau transports an average of 31,000 prisoners, effects 700 warrant and warrantless arrests, and interviews over 8,000 victims of domestic violence
Bureau of Field Operations
Field Operations is based out of the Largo Substation and is charged with: Civil/Landlord & Tenant, Domestic Violence Intervention Unit (DVIU or DV Unit), Warrant/Fugitive Squad, and Child Support Enforcement. The Civil section is responsible for service of criminal and civil summonses, and other court-ordered writs. The Landlord and Tenant (L&T) Section is responsible for notification of delinquent rent and/or mortgage payments/foreclosures, and court-ordered evictions. The section receives approximately 10,000 writs for non-payment each month. The Domestic Violence Intervention Unit's primary responsibility is response to domestic-related 9-1-1 calls, court-ordered psychiatric commitments, and ex parte protective order service. The Prince George's DV Unit was the first in the state of Maryland and the first to operate on a 24-hour basis, and is considered a nationally-recognized model. The unit receives on average over 1,200 orders per month, the highest in the state.
Bureau of Administration
Administration is based out of the main headquarters located in Upper Marlboro and contains the School Resource, Public Information Office (PIO), Recruiting, Training, and Internal Affairs. The Public Information Office (PIO) also operates an Explorers Post, Prince George's County Sheriff's Office Explorer Post #1696 for Prince George's County youths between the ages of 15 (or 14, provisionally) and 20. The sheriff and his command staff operate out of the Sheriff's Office complex located in Upper Marlboro. Most of the civilian support personnel also work out of this facility providing administrative duties such as NCIC monitoring, teletype (TTY), uniform and supply, criminal warrant research and organization, as well as other administrative duties as directed.
Special Operations Division
The Special Operations Division (SOD) is responsible for specialized and specific services. The division is commanded by an assistant bureau chief and has different teams specifically responsible for: SST (SWAT)-response, executive and witness protection, riot control, crisis negotiations, intelligence gathering, motorcycle escort, and ceremonial duties.
- Specialized Services Team (SST)
- VIP/Witness Protection Team (VIPER)
- Civil Disturbance Unit (CDU)
- Motorcycle Unit
- Hostage Negotiation
- Homeland Security and Intelligence
Sworn personnel below the rank of captain and all civilian employees are represented by the Deputy Sheriffs' Association/Fraternal Order of Police, Maryland Lodge 112 (DSA/FOP 112). The DSA/FOP is a labor union that provides collective bargaining, legal assistance, and charitable efforts for the membership. The current president of the union is Stan Moore.
|T. Ward Martin||1946-1950|
|Carleton G. Beall||1950-1954|
|J. Lee Ball||1954-1962|
|William J. Jamieson||1962-1966|
|William J. Kersey||1966-1970|
|Don Edward Ansell||1970-1978|
|James V. Aluisi||1978-1998||D-MD|
|Alonzo D. Black II||1998-2002||D-MD|
|Michael A. Jackson||2002-2010||D-MD|
|Melvin C. High||2010-present||D-MD|
|Sheriff||The Sheriff is the Chief Law Enforcement Officer of Prince George's County, Maryland and is accountable to the citizens. The Sheriff's rank insignia is a single gold star.|
|Colonel||The Chief Assistant Sheriff of Prince George's County is the second in command and handles the day-to-day operations of the Sheriff's Office. The Chief Assistant Sheriff's rank is Colonel, and is symbolized by a silver eagle.|
|Lieutenant Colonel||The Assistant Sheriff (Bureau Chief) is the third in command and has the responsibility of his/her bureau's day-to-day operations. The Assistant Sheriff's rank is Lieutenant Colonel, symbolized by a silver oak leaf.|
|Major||The Deputy Bureau Chief was fourth in command, designated as the Deputy Bureau Chief, and served under the Bureau Chief (Lieutenant Colonel). The rank insignia of a major was a gold oak leaf.|
|Captain||The Assistant Bureau Chief serves under the Bureau Chief (Lieutenant Colonel) and is in command of one or more Divisions. The rank insignia is symbolized by two connected gold bars.|
|Lieutenant||The Division Commander may serve as an acting Captain and is directed by the Assistant Bureau Chief. The rank insignia is symbolized by a single gold bar.|
|Sergeant||Squad Sergeant, may serve as Acting Lieutenant, is in charge of a squad of Deputy Sheriffs at the rank of Corporal and below. The sergeant's rank is symbolized by three gold chevrons on a black background.|
|Corporal||Supervisor, colloquially "9-car", may serve as Acting Sergeant and has a rank symbolized by two gold chevrons on a black background.|
|Deputy First Class||Time-in-rate promotion|
|Deputy Sheriff, Private||Recruits successfully completing the Police Academy are appointed as Deputy Sheriffs, Private.|
|Student Deputy||Title of trainees while attending the Police Academy|
|Vehicle||Country of Origin||Type||Notes||Picture(s)|
|Chevrolet Impala|| United States (Origin)
|Cruiser||Also used for K-9 duties.|
The Prince George's County Sheriff's Office operates a fleet of eight and ninth generation Chevrolet Impalas (2003–present models), as well as a few Chevrolet Luminas (1999–2001 models), and Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptors. The transportation unit uses specialized Chevrolet or Dodge vans. The Motorcycle unit uses Police Edition Harley-Davidson motorcycles. The paint scheme of the PGSO marked cruisers is a white base paint with brown and gold striping with the word "SHERIFF" emblazoned on the side; previously green and gold. The light bars used are the slim Whelen Generation II LEDs with red and blue colors. The Domestic Violence Intervention Unit has all marked vehicles with Panasonic Toughbook computers assigned to the cars.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Prince George's County Sheriff's Office.|
- "2005 Budget". Prince George's County, Maryland. Prince George's County, Maryland. 2005.
- 2006–2007 Edition Maryland Criminal Laws & Motor Vehicle Handbook with Related Statutes including Legal Guidelines, (c) 2006 Gould Publications
- Job posting
- Lt. Lou Oertly. "The Fascinating History of the Office of the Sheriff, 1696–1996". Prince George's County Historical Society. Retrieved 2007-12-08.
- Lt. Lou Oertly. "The Fascinating History of the Office of the Sheriff, 1696–1996". Prince George's County Historical Society. Retrieved 2009-04-19.
- Castaneda, Ruben (June 16, 2007). "Judge Declares Mistrial in 2002 Slaying of Two Deputies". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2007-12-09.
- Federations of Police and Security Officers (2002). "Death of Two Princes". Federations of Police/Security News 7 (2). Briarcliff Manor, New York. Retrieved July 21, 2013.
- "Man gets 25 years for killing two cops". The Washington Examiner. Clarity Media Group. October 25, 2007. Retrieved May 15, 2013.
- Rondeaux, Candace (October 25, 2007). "Guilty Plea in Deputies' Slayings". Retrieved October 25, 2012.
- "Sergeant James Victor Arnaud, Prince George's County Sheriff's Office, Maryland".
- "Private First Class Elizabeth Licera Magruder, Prince George's County Sheriff's Office, Maryland". Retrieved October 25, 2012.
- State of Maryland (September 2005). "State of Maryland v. James Ramiah Logan". Retrieved October 25, 2012.
- Mitchell, Josh (February 16, 2007). "Sheriff's Deputy shot in Laurel while trying to serve warrant". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 2008-02-17.[dead link]
- "Prince George's County, Maryland : Home Page".
- Prince George's County, MD - Office of the Sheriff : Overview
- Maryland Sheriff Vol. 23, No.1 page 13
- Maryland Sheriff Vol. 23, No.1 page 15
- State of Maryland (February 20, 2013). "Sheriffs, Prince George's County, Maryland". Maryland State Archives. State of Maryland. Retrieved September 2, 2013.
- Official website
- Prince George's County Sheriff History
- Prince George's County Sheriff's Office at Facebook
- Prince George's County Sheriff's Office at BlogSpot
- Prince George's County Sheriff's Office at Twitter
- Deputy Sheriffs' Association/Fraternal Order of Police, Maryland Lodge 112 official website
- Prince George's County Sheriff's Office at the Wayback Machine (archived February 21, 1999)
- Prince George's County Sheriff's Office at the Wayback Machine (archived August 18, 2000)
- Prince George's County Sheriff's Office at the Wayback Machine (archived April 19, 2001)
- Prince George's County Sheriff's Office at the Wayback Machine (archived June 11, 2002)
- Prince George's County Sheriff's Office at the Wayback Machine (archived July 14, 2002)
- Prince George's County Sheriff's Office at the Wayback Machine (archived June 16, 2004)
- Prince George's County Sheriff's Office at the Wayback Machine (archived August 21, 2006)