Prince George's County Police Department

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Prince George's County Police Department
Patch of the Prince George's County Police Department.png
Patch of the Prince George's County Police Department
Seal of the Prince George's County Police Department.png
Seal of the Prince George's County Police Department
Badge of the Prince George's County Police Department.png
Badge of the Prince George's County Police Department
Flag of Prince George's County, Maryland.svg
Flag of Prince George's County, Maryland[1]
Common nameP.G. County Police Department
Agency overview
FormedJune 1, 1931; 88 years ago (1931-06-01)[2]
Employees2,100 Approx as of 2017
Annual budget$244,300,000.00[3]
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdictionPrince George's, Maryland, U.S.
Map of Maryland highlighting Prince George's County.svg
Map of Prince George's County Police Department's jurisdiction.
Size498 square miles (1,290 km2)
General nature
HeadquartersLandover CDP, Maryland

Police officers1,800 Approx as of 2017
Civilians300 Approx as of 2017
Agency executive
  • Hank Stawinski, Chief of Police[4]
Headquarters7600 Barlowe Road, Palmer Park, Maryland 20785
38°55′5″N 76°52′35″W / 38.91806°N 76.87639°W / 38.91806; -76.87639
Police boats5
Prince George's County Police Department
Ribbon worn by PGPD officers to denote prior service in the armed forces of the U.S.

The Prince George's County Police Department (PGPD) is the primary law enforcement agency in Prince George's County, Maryland in the United States, servicing a population of over 900,000 residents and visitors within 498 square miles (1,290 km²) of jurisdiction.[5]

The department headquarters is in the Palmer Park area of the Landover census-designated place.[6][7]


Edward Merson, the first PGPD policeman killed on duty.
Vintage PGPD patch
Mark Murphy, a PGPD sergeant killed in 1988.
A Chevrolet Impala of the Prince George's County Police in 2006.
A Chevrolet Impala of the PGPD in 2006.
A Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor of the Prince George's County Police in February 2007.
PGPD motorcycle units in July 2012.


The Prince George's County Police Department was created on June 1, 1931, in response to the increasing population and crime the county was experiencing. Prior to 1931, the county was primarily policed by the Prince George's County Sheriff's Office (PGSO). When serious crimes, such as murder or rape, were committed, detectives from the Baltimore City Police Department were borrowed.[8]


On June 26, 1978, Officer Albert Marshal Claggett IV and Officer James Swart were shot and killed with Claggett's revolver by Terrence Johnson, a 15-year-old theft suspect, while in the booking area of the Hyattsville District Station. Johnson was found guilty of manslaughter in the death of Officer Claggett and not guilty by reason of insanity in the death of Officer Swart. Johnson was sentenced to 25 years in prison; he was paroled in 1995. In 1997, Johnson and his brother robbed a bank in Aberdeen, Maryland. As police officers approached to arrest him, Johnson committed suicide.


On February 8, 1982, Officer Raymond Hubbard was shot and killed when he intervened in an armed robbery while off duty at Iverson Mall. While shopping at the mall Officer Hubbard observed an armed robbery in progress at a jewelry store. He drew his weapon and confronted the suspects. Unbeknownst to Officer Hubbard, there were accomplices nearby who opened fire on him. Officer Hubbard was struck several times and fell to the ground. The suspects then stood over him and shot him several more times before stealing his service revolver. All four suspects were eventually apprehended and convicted of Officer Hubbard's murder. Three were sentenced to life and one was sentenced to 70 years in prison. Officer Hubbard had served with the Prince George's County Police Department for 2 years.

In August 1988, Corporal Mark Kevin Murphy was shot while he attempted to force open a door during a drug raid. As Murphy knelt down to position equipment, someone inside the home opened the door. Other policemen then opened fire hitting Murphy in the back of the head.[9][10]

Around 1988 when the Maryland State Police went to Beretta, the Montgomery County Police Department started to replace their revolvers with the 9mm Beretta 92.[11][12]


During the late 1990s, the PGPD used the Chevrolet Lumina.[13]

In July 1999, the department was subject to a complaint[14] by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) regarding alleged excessive use of force by police canine units.


On June 21, 2005, Sergeant Steven F. Gaughan was killed during a traffic stop in Laurel.

On June 27, 2008, Corporal Richard S. Findley was killed by Ronnie L. White, who was driving a stolen pickup truck. White struck Corporal Findley with the truck as he attempted to elude police and avoid being arrested in Laurel. White appeared to be in good physical condition when he was arrested but died of asphyxiation while in the custody of the Prince George's County Department of Corrections.[15] The death was ruled a homicide. The Prince George's County Police investigated the crime; suspects included several guards. A cell video camera, which would have recorded the incident was either disabled or obstructed. There were no arrests.

On October 23, 2008, the county and three individually-named police officers were found not liable for use of excessive force by a jury after deliberating for twenty minutes. The claim involved injuries sustained by a University of Maryland student who was involved in a riot following a victory over Duke University in basketball in 2005. The student was struck near the eye allegedly by a projectile fired from a FN 303 less-than-lethal riot gun.[16]


On March 9, 2010, Private First Class Tom Jensen died at Prince George's Hospital Center after being taken there following a vehicular crash. He was responding to a man breaking into a woman's apartment on February 27, 2010. Due to his over five years of service in the department, he was posthumously promoted to corporal.

On August 20, 2012, Officer Adrian Morris died as a result of an automobile accident on the Washington, D.C. Capital Beltway, near Route 212. Officer Michael Risher was also injured but survived, according to the police department. Morris, who was driving the police cruiser, was attempting to catch-up to another vehicle while investigating a reported crime. The police cruiser apparently veered off the highway and into a ravine. Morris, who was thrown from the vehicle, suffered severe head injuries. He was pronounced dead at Prince George's Hospital. Morris, 23, was a former member of the Prince George's Police Explorers.[17]

Currently officers are issued the Smith & Wesson M&P chambered for .40 S&W


The current Chief of Police is Hank Stawinski, who is the 17th chief. The previous Chief of Police, Mark Magaw, retired in December 2015.

As of 2010, the agency has an authorized strength of 2,000 sworn officers and 300 civilians.

The agency is divided into seven districts. Each district is divided into sectors, which are divided into individual beats:

  • District I (Hyattsville: Adam and Baker sector),
  • District II (Bowie: David and Edward sector),
  • District III (Palmer Park: George and Henry sector),
  • District IV (Oxon Hill: John and King sector),
  • District V (Clinton: Frank sector),
  • District VI (Beltsville: Charlie sector)
  • District VII (Fort Washington: William sector)

Organizational structure[edit]

  • Bureau of Administration
  • Bureau of Patrol
  • Bureau of Investigation
  • Bureau of Forensic Science and Intelligence

Specialized units[edit]

As of January 1, 2014, each division has various units in it as listed below.

Bureau of Patrol[edit]

  • Patrol Squads/shifts
  • Special Assignment Teams
  • COPS Squads (Community Oriented Policing Services)
  • Bicycle Patrol Trained Officers

Regional Investigative Division[edit]

Divided into 3 regions North (Hyattsville/Beltsville), Central (Bowie/Landover), South (Clinton, Oxon HIll) Each region has its own detectives:

  • Robbery Suppression Team Detectives
  • Property Crimes Section Detectives
  • Crimes Against Persons Detectives

Special Operations Division[edit]

  • Emergency Services Team (SWAT)
  • Canine Unit (K-9)
  • Traffic Enforcement Unit
  • Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Unit
  • Motors Unit
  • Marine Unit
  • Honor Guard
  • Conflict Negotiator Team
  • Civil Disturbance Unit
  • Special Events Planning Section
  • Automated Enforcement Division
  • National Harbor Unit
  • Aviation Unit - operates four MD520N helicopters.

Criminal Investigation Division[edit]

  • Homicide Unit
  • Commercial Robbery Unit
  • Sex Crimes Section
  • Child & Vulnerable Adult Abuse Section
  • Domestic Violence Unit

Crime Scene Investigation Division[edit]

  • Evidence Section
  • DNA Analysis Lab
  • Firearms Examination Unit
  • Drug Analysis Lab -
  • Computer Data Recovery Unit

Special Investigation Division[edit]

  • Washington Area Vehicle Enforcement Team/Auto Theft Task Force
  • GANG Unit
  • Pawn Unit
  • Commercial Retail Theft Investigation Unit
  • Scrap/Precious Metals Investigation Unit
  • Violent Crime Impact Section/ VCU
  • Environmental Crimes Unit
  • Financial Crimes Unit
  • ROPE

Internal Affairs Division[edit]

  • Internal Affairs
  • Special Investigative Response Team
  • Administrative Hearing Board Unit
  • Court Liaison Unit

Narcotics Enforcement Division[edit]

  • Major Narcotics Section
  • Street Narcotics Section

Bureau of Support Services[edit]

  • Recruitment and Selection Unit
  • Training & Education Division - Academy
  • Technology Integration Section
  • Clothing & Supply Unit
  • Property Management Division
  • Records Section
  • Community Services Division
  • Professional Compliance Section
  • Intelligence Division


Excessive force[edit]

In January 2004, the department signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the U.S. Department of Justice over allegations of excessive force.[18][19][20] This resulted in the establishment of an independent monitoring group by Military Professional Resources Inc. (MPRI), a defense contractor.[21][22]

Convictions of officer[edit]

In April 2014, Officer Sinisa Simic was sentenced ten years' confinement for his protection of a gang distributing cocaine and untaxed cigarettes. Simic had been indicted on various charges in 2010 as part of a wide-ranging corruption investigation that lead to the arrest of three other officers.[23]

Alleged officer conduct not resulting in convictions[edit]

On February 3, 2012, Corporal Donald Taylor beat Ryan Dorm with the butt of his service weapon. The pistol fired from the impact with Dorm's face. Taylor then filed a report falsely claiming Dorm had somehow attacked him. A surveillance video at the Brentwood, Maryland gas station showed this to be false and in September 2012, Taylor was charged with second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, providing a false statement to police and misconduct in office.[24] Dorm, who had been arrested on various charges had all charges against dropped after being jailed for four months. Cpl Donald Taylor was charged with assault and misconducted in office. He was found not guilty and acquitted of all charges after a trial.[24]

In May 2012, Officer Daniel Gonzalez was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol after crashing his official car. Gonzalez was found not guilty of all charges after a trial.[25]

In July 2012, Corporal Rickey Adey was indicted by a grand jury on charges for assaulting a teenaged boy during an arrest. Adey was acquitted of the charges after a trial.[26]


On October 9, 2010, an instructor at the Prince George's Police Academy, was transferred out of the academy. Reportedly, he had given all of his recruits perfect scores on tests, even though students' actual scores varied, and at least some students had failed those exams. There was evidence that he shared exam questions with students in advance, allowing several classes of recruits to graduate after cheating on their exam.[27]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Sec. 1-106. County flag; contents. The official County flag shall be a three (3) feet by five (5) feet flag of white, divided in equal quadrants by four (4) inch stripes of red and containing in its upper left quadrant the official seal of the County as adopted by the Board of Commissioners on November 25, 1958. (Ord. and Res. 1967, Sec. 1-6)"
  2. ^ State of Maryland (April 22, 2013). "Police Department". Prince George's County Police Department - Government, Executive Branch, Public Safety. Maryland State Archives. Retrieved January 27, 2014.
  3. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on June 3, 2010. Retrieved May 3, 2009.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^
  5. ^ Prince George's County QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau Archived July 3, 2001, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "Winter/Spring PAL Basketball Clinic." Government of Prince George's County. Retrieved on September 20, 2018. "Location: Police Headquarters Address: 7600 Barlowe Road Landover, MD 20785 "
  7. ^ "2010 CENSUS - CENSUS BLOCK MAP: Landover CDP, MD." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on September 1, 2018. "1990 COUNTY BLOCK MAP" (index map) Prince George's County. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on September 9, 2018. The CDP of Palmer Park (along with others now a part of Landover CDP: old Landover, Dodge Park, and Kentland) is shown on pages 13, 14, 17, and 18.
  8. ^ "History of the Prince George's County Police Department". Archived from the original on August 24, 2006. Retrieved August 24, 2006.
  9. ^ Police Officer Shot to Death in Drug Raid, Associated Press, September 1, 1988
  10. ^ "Pr. George's Officer Shot in Drug Raid; 5 Arrested; Corporal's Condition". The Washington Post. The Washington Post Company. September 1, 1988. Archived from the original on June 11, 2014. Retrieved February 14, 2014.
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ "A Puzzling Homicide". The Washington Post. July 1, 2008. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
  16. ^[permanent dead link]
  17. ^ Zapotosky, Matt (August 22, 2012). "Crime". The Washington Post.
  18. ^ United States Department of Justice (January 22, 2004). "Memorandum of Agreement Between the United States Department of Justice and Prince George's County, Maryland and the Prince George's County Police Department" (PDF). United States Department of Justice. United States Department of Justice. Retrieved January 27, 2014.
  19. ^ United States Department of Justice (January 22, 2004). "Justice Department signs agreements governing use of canines and force with Prince George's County". United States Department of Justice. United States Department of Justice. Archived from the original on January 25, 2004. Retrieved January 25, 2004. WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Justice Department today announced the successful resolution of its three-year investigation into the use of force by the Prince George's County, Maryland Police Department. R. Alexander Acosta, Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, announced the signing of two agreements between the Department, the County, and the Prince George's County Police Department (PGPD). The parties entered into a consent decree governing the PGPD's Canine Section and a memorandum of agreement (MOA) addressing the department-wide use of force. "Today's agreements underscore the seriousness with which the Justice Department reviews allegations of police misconduct," said R. Alexander Acosta, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division. "Prince George's County and its police department should be commended for reaching a resolution in this matter. This is an example of the success that can be achieved when people come together in the pursuit of a common goal. Today's settlements will yield lasting benefits for the citizens of Prince George's County." The agreements require widespread reform in PGPD's use of canines and force. In addition to establishing policies governing the use of canines and the use of force, these agreements also establish specific training requirements and accountability practices. Most notably, the agreements will require PGPD to take the following steps: reform its use of force policies, as well as its training, reporting, and accountability procedures; adopt and implement a "guard and bark" methodology for canines, whereby canines will locate suspects and hold them at bay by barking loudly; use of biting is restricted to specific incidents where necessary for arrest or safety of officers or civilians; create a special board to review all firearm discharges; operate a system to manage risk regarding officer performance; effectively review canine bites and other related activity; and investigate and review misconduct allegations. The agreements resolve an investigation first initiated in July 1999, when the Justice Department began reviewing PGPD's use of canines. Subsequently, in October 2000, the Justice Department began investigating broader allegations of excessive force. The agreements announced today fully resolved those investigations. In order to ensure the effective implementation of the agreements, the Justice Department will continue to monitor the Prince George's County Police Department for the next three years. The Department will also remain involved through the offer of technical assistance. The Fraternal Order of Police, which met with the Department regarding the settlement, stated, "Based upon our conversations with members of the Civil Rights Division, we are satisfied that the recommendations are consistent with policies implemented by the current police administration. We are confident that the Prince George's County Police Department will be able to satisfy the requirements of the Justice Department. We applaud the current police administration for having the forethought to address most of these issues preemptively." This Administration has made a particular effort to resolve police misconduct complaints. Since 2001, the Justice Department has entered into 12 settlement agreements resolving law enforcement misconduct investigations - a six-fold increase over the two investigations resolved through settlements during the three preceding years. In 2003, the Justice Department resolved investigations of police misconduct involving the Villa Rica, Georgia Police Department, the Detroit, Michigan Police Department, and the Mount Prospect, Illinois Police Department.CS1 maint: Unfit url (link)
  20. ^
  21. ^ United States Department of Justice (June 28, 2004). "Independent monitor selected for Justice Department's agreement with Prince George's County Police Department". United States Department of Justice. United States Department of Justice. Archived from the original on July 7, 2004. Retrieved July 7, 2004. WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Justice Department today announced the selection of an Independent Monitor to help implement its agreement with the Prince George's County Police Department concerning the Police Department's use of force. The Justice Department, working together with Prince George's County and the Prince George's County Police Department (PGPD), selected Eduardo Gonzalez, former Chief of the Tampa, Florida Police Department, and the Alexandria Group to serve as the Independent Monitor of the Memorandum of Agreement signed January 22, 2004. For the next three years, the Independent Monitor will be closely involved in ensuring the PGPD's compliance with the agreement. The Monitor will evaluate the PGPD's implementation of widespread use of force reforms, provide technical assistance to the PGPD in achieving these reforms, and issue regular public reports on the PGPD's progress. "We are confident that the experience and expertise of Chief Gonzalez and the Alexandria Group will assist the County and Police Department in implementing the timely and meaningful reforms the agreement requires," said R. Alexander Acosta, Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. "We are grateful for the cooperation of County Executive Jack Johnson and Chief Melvin High in working to select the Independent Monitor through a comprehensive nationwide search." This agreement resulted from an investigation conducted by the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division and the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Maryland. A parallel investigation of an alleged pattern or practice of excessive force in the PGPD's use of canines was resolved by a consent decree entered by a federal district court in March 2004.CS1 maint: Unfit url (link)
  22. ^ United States Department of Justice (January 22, 2004). "Investigation of the Prince George's County Police Department". United States Department of Justice. United States Department of Justice. Archived from the original on September 10, 2011. Retrieved September 10, 2011.CS1 maint: Unfit url (link)
  23. ^ Ex-police officer gets 10-year sentence, 3 April 2014, by The Associated Press
  24. ^ a b Gross, Daniel (May 16, 2013). "Former Prince George's police officer not guilty in assault case". Washington Post. Retrieved November 17, 2017.
  25. ^ Officer crashes Cruise, Charged with DUI, by the Associated Press, 20 May 2012
  26. ^ Giles, Ben (July 28, 2012). "Prince George's Officer Indicted for Assaulting Teen". Washington Examiner. Washington Examiner. Archived from the original on January 27, 2014. Retrieved January 27, 2014.
  27. ^ Zapotosky, Matt (October 10, 2010). "Pr. George's police shift instructor in scandal". Washington Post. p. C4.

External links[edit]