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Hit by ‘Homicide a Day’, County Officials Turn to FBI, Pastors

Hit by 13 homicides in the first 13 days of the year, the Prince George’s officials are scrambling their heads on what to do to tackle this unusual spike of violent crime incidents.

According to the Washington Examiner, the county’s 13 killings exceed the 12 U.S. military deaths that have occurred this year in Afghanistan as of Friday morning.

In the mean time, federal agents have begun embedding with Prince George’s County police department homicide squads as part of an increasingly concerted effort to solve and stop the spate of killings.

The federal agents will come from the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, though how many would join county detectives, is still unknown.

County police have also enlisted other area law enforcement agencies to help: On Wednesday night, officers from the Maryland State Police, the Prince George’s County Sheriff’s Department, Mount Rainier Police Department and Bladensburg Police Department joined county police to saturate areas of the county where some of the murders have taken place.

“We will stop the unacceptably high level of violence which has plagued our inner beltway communities since the beginning of the year,” said Interim Prince George’s County Police Chief Mark Magaw in a statement. “This will be a concerted, sustained effort that will include the PGPD, Office of the Sheriff, municipal police departments, Federal agencies, and community & business leaders. Together, we are a formidable force that will bring calm to all segments of our County.”

On another front, Prince George’s County States Attorney Angela Alsobrooks is turning to the faith community to help address the recent spate of killings in the county.

Alsobrooks said she will visit several churches this weekend and appeal to church members to help her reach out to young adults.

Alsobrooks said she will attend Mount Ephraim Baptist Church in Upper Marlboro Sunday. On Monday she will be part of a panel discussion at First Baptist Church of Glenarden as part of the church’s Martin Luther King Day event.

“Part of what I will be talking about at First Baptist is changing the culture,” Alsobrooks said. “These young people have been taught they should not get involved and to stop snitching. I want to start a counter-campaign called speak up and that we have an active responsibility to come forward and help rid our community of this violence.”

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