Prince George’s County police use drivers’ 911 calls to place patrol officers

WASHINGTON — In Maryland, fewer 911 calls are coming into Prince George’s County police about reckless drivers, which affects officers’ ability to patrol dangerous areas many commuters know well.

“It’s a really big help for people to call 911. Unfortunately, I think sometimes people assume someone else will pick up the phone,” said Cpl. Tyler Hunter with the Prince George’s County Police Department.

Crowd mentality tends to take over on the road and often the department won’t get calls about dangerous drivers, and then commuters wonder why the police aren’t nearby.

“We have an Intelligence Center which works to constantly evaluate historic crime, current crime, current trends / patterns, ‘hot spots,’ and other information including citizen complaints to adjust additional resources throughout our community in a rapid fashion,” Hunter said.

In short, the data collected from 911 calls and complaints help place officers where they need to be along the road.

Hunter said it’s especially important to call if there’s an all-terrain vehicle driver or person driving dangerously, but also if you’ve observed an incident that could help investigators determine what happened.

“It’s actually very beneficial to us cause everybody will see different thing sand will give us information and ultimately that will help us relay specifically where to place our enforcement efforts,” Hunter said.

Megan Cloherty

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

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