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New police initiatives could further drop crime The Prince George County Police Department addition of 50 new full time officers next month to its police academy and a proposed District 8 police station in Glenn Dale could help further reduce the county crime rate, which is at a 20 year low, Police Chief Roberto L. Hylton announced to District 4 residents. Hylton discussed the incoming officers with about a dozen residents at a town hall meeting Nov. 19 hosted by Prince George County Councilwoman Ingrid Turner (D Dist. 4) of Bowie at the Glenn Dale Community Center. Cpl. Mike Rodriguez, a police department spokesman, said the hiring, training and certification of the officers will be paid for with $10.6 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, funding first announced in July. The officers will graduate from the academy and be on the streets in about a year, said Maj. Andy Ellis, chief spokesman for the county police department. The officers will be distributed to police stations throughout the county, said Maj. Christopher Cotillo, commander of the police District 2 station in Upper Marlboro. The department currently has 1,514 officers. The officers will be a permanent addition to the force and likely will help continue to reduce county crime, said Hylton, who credits the drop in crime in part to the community policing initiative he employed nearly a year ago. The initiative encourages officers to spend time walking their beats in order to get in touch with the neighborhoods they cover. work hand in hand with the community, we are policing from the heart, Hylton said. Ellis said the approach is effective because it gives residents a more direct link to police. community police officers serve, really, as mini police chiefs for the community areas, Ellis said. addresses the root problems of crime, so we getting at the root of the problem and not just treating the symptoms it a more holistic approach than the traditional law enforcement response. said community policing has also helped decrease car thefts countywide in the last year. Tim Howe of Glenn Dale said he is pleased with the statistics Hylton shared about the decrease, from nearly 8,000 car thefts in 2008 to less than 6,000 so far this year, a 26 percent decrease, Ellis said. heard nothing but good things tonight, Howe said. During the meeting, Hylton also discussed the proposed police District 8 station, which while still years away was included in the Glenn Dale, Lanham and Seabrook preliminary sector plan. The plan suggests building the station in 2021 adjacent to the Glenn Dale Fire/EMS station in the 11900 block of Glenn Dale Boulevard; funding is available in 2014 in the county 2010 2015 Capital Improvement Program. been a lot of population growth in the county, and our six police district [stations] have been in existence for over 25 years in these locations, Ellis said. only makes sense for where we want to place new police facilities. new District 7 policing district and station in Fort Washington has also been discussed but has been delayed indefinitely due to county budget restraints. The sector plan, released in September, updates the 1993 land use plan for the area and makes recommendations for land use, historic preservation, transportation and parks. The final sector plan could be adopted in March after County Council approval.