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Prince George's creates new position to combat police corruption

Wednesday - 2/8/2012, 9:07am  ET

WASHINGTON - There's a new sheriff in Prince George's whose jurisdiction is the very department tasked with public safety: the county police.

Carlos Acosta is the new and first inspector general for the Prince George's County Police Department. He says the job is essential for proving to the public the department is serious about cracking down on corruption as well as building trust in the community.

"Folks need to believe in their police department," he says, stressing the importance of accountability and transparency.

The office is already making headlines in Acosta's first week. A case he is currently reviewing involves two officers who reportedly lied about a recent shooting. Those officers have been suspended and an investigation is under way.

Cases like this are why the county created the job, he says.

The new position comes after a years-long cloud of suspicion hanging over the department, whether it was allegations of excessive force or officers charged with trafficking drugs and bootleg cigarettes.

"The public has to believe in the police department," Acosta repeats, "to ensure you had somebody independent that could review cases, work with internal affairs to make sure the process was fair both for the officers and the public."

WTOP's Mark Segraves contributed to this report. Follow Mark and WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)