Thursday, June 21, 2018

PGPD Open Letter to Community

The Prince George's County Police Department was one of two entities cited in a recent Washington Post article (“‘A ticking time bomb’: MS-13 threatens a middle school, warn teachers, parents, students,” June 11) in reference to William Wirt Middle School in our county.  

This past Monday, June 18th, our partners at the Prince George's County Public Schools shared an open letter on their website in response to the article:

We share in the PGCPS's conclusion that the article inaccurately portrayed William Wirt Middle School and left parents, faculty, students frightened.  As law enforcement, we take an oath to protect and serve every member of our community; a task we do not take lightly and drives our efforts in our communities every day.

As an agency, we offered facts to the Washington Post upon request to include the number of calls-for-service to William Wirt Middle school since September 6th, 2017 through May, 2018 which totaled 74 calls for service, but the article didn't include that only 4 of those calls met the criteria necessary to write a report and none of the actual reports taken were gang-related.   We have a unit designated to tackle MS-13 criminal activity and our officers report that they have not seen the level of activity at Wirt Middle as depicted in the Washington Post reporting.   Our gang unit works in the schools and moves swiftly and decisively to address any gang-related issue whenever and wherever they arise.   

As an agency, we work tirelessly to provide accurate information to the media upon request as we strive every day for transparency, but we cannot stand by quietly while some seek to marginalize and stereotype our community.   

The Prince George's County Police Department stands shoulder-to-shoulder with our peers across our county in the dedicated and continued effort to keep our residents and visitors safe.  We are here for you.  We are here for all.   

Prince George's County Police Proud to be First Police Partner of the National Affinity Project to Make Police-Community Relations Even Stronger

Prince George's County Police Chief Hank Stawinski along with the 1700 men and women of the Prince George's County Police Department are excited to announce our participation in the Affinity Project, a pilot program, launched by the National Law Enforcement Museum and the Illumination Project.   

The Illumination Project was developed in Charleston, SC, after the tragic hate-based killings of 9 innocent parishioners at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in 2015.  Charleston police and local community leaders launched the Illumination Project in an effort to wrap their arms around their grieving community and to turn the horrifying events into lasting community strength.  Together, the Charleston community worked to build bonds through a series of "listening" sessions where hundreds joined and talked openly to one another about how best to lift up their community and then turned those discussions into action. 

The labor of love in Charleston continues and is now serving as the inspiration for the upcoming Affinity Project at the National Law Enforcement Museum in Washington DC.  The Prince George's County  Police Department is proud to serve as the first law enforcement agency in the country to partner with the Affinity Project which is aimed at strengthening relationships between law enforcement and the citizens and communities they serve.  

"I have always been so proud of the strong relationships our agency shares with our residents.  Those relationships are no accident as our officers work daily to maintain those bonds through a multitude of existing PGPD community programs.  We must never relax though, because we understand how critical positive community relations are to keeping our nearly 1 million residents safe every single day.  Our participation in the launch of the national Affinity Project is another exciting avenue by which we can continue to build upon our existing relationships and to forge new friendships and critical partnerships," said Chief Hank Stawinski.        

As we launch this pilot program, we will be joined by residents and community, religious, and academic leaders from across the county.  We begin training this coming Friday and Saturday.    

For the media advisory and contact information for media who wish to cover, please click on the following links:

Media Advisory:


Missing Child Found

UPDATED June 22, 2018: Ms. Lemus was safely located.

Yadira Lemus
The Prince George’s County Police Department is seeking the public’s help in searching for a missing child. She is identified as 12-year-old Yadira Lemus.

Lemus was last seen in the 5400 block of Ellerbie Street in Lanham on June 20th  at approximately 9:00 am.

Lemus is described as a hispanic female, 5’3”, and 115 pounds.  She was last seen wearing a white shirt and gray pants.

Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to call the Prince George’s County Police Department’s Regional Investigation Division – Central Region at (301) 772-4911.

PGPD Investigates Fatal Pedestrian Collision in Suitland

The Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Unit is investigating a fatal pedestrian collision in Suitland Wednesday evening. The victim is 62-year-old John Anthony Poole of no fixed address. 

On June 20th, at approximately 9:35 pm, patrol officers responded to the 4900 block of Allentown Road for a collision involving a pedestrian. The pedestrian, Poole, was taken to a hospital where he died a short time later.

The preliminary investigation reveals that for reasons which remain under investigation, Poole was lying in the roadway on Allentown Road, when he was struck by two vehicles. Both drivers remained on scene and were uninjured. 

Anyone with information is asked to call the Prince George’s County Police Department’s Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Unit at 301-731-4422. Callers wishing to remain anonymous may call Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477), or go online at, or use the “P3 Tips” mobile app (search “P3 Tips” in the Apple Store or Google Play to download the app onto your mobile device.)

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