New Prince George’s Co. police chief announces officer hiring spree

WASHINGTON — Prince George’s County is about to go on a hiring spree. The new police chief says he wants to increase his department by hundreds of officers.

“The goal over next three years is to grow the department to 2,000 officers,” Chief Hank Stawinski said on NewsChannel 8.

Right now, the police force is nearly 1,700 officers strong, with many working overtime to create the man hours needed to adequately police the county.

“That’s a great way to deal with problems in the short term, but it’s what I call extraordinary efforting because it involves the officers themselves coming back after their shift and working two, four or six hours consistently over time,” Stawinski says.

Ideally, he says, an officer should get a break after 10 to 12 hours policing.

New Assistant Police Chief Hector Velez says the focus in hiring will be sourcing from within the community.

“We look at ensuring our force is diverse and represents the community,” Velez said.

But as the makeup of the community changes and technology advances, the skill set officers need to bring to the table changes as well, they say.

“If you have advanced degrees or degrees in technology and sciences, if you are multilingual — all of those things bring benefits to us,” Stawinski said.

Only two police officer positions are posted on the county’s job site, with starting salaries of $46, 600.

Megan Cloherty

WTOP Investigative Reporter Megan Cloherty primarily covers breaking news, crime and courts.

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