Prince George’s Co. aims to prevent a surge in summertime crime

During the summer months, crime rates tend to rise along with temperatures and the number of people heading outside. However, police in Prince George’s County, Maryland, have a plan.

Operation Heat Wave aims to suppress summertime crime through prevention and enforcement while engaging the community.

“The summer crime initiative is countywide, but we are focusing on areas like Langley Park and Riverdale and Capital Heights, Suitland – they are specific focus areas because historically, we’ve looked at the [statistics],” Acting Police Chief Malik Aziz said.

But, Aziz stressed that focus areas also come from conversations with civic and homeowners’ associations and community leaders.

“We’re listening to the community, and we’re getting feedback for what works,” he said. “We’re looking towards enhancing not just the reduction of violent crime not just in the enforcement area, but also the prevention area, youth programs, senior programs; so we’re looking at those things from all angles.”

The plan includes directing patrols to target areas with increased visibility and having officers act proactively versus reactively.

“In a proactive sense, we take a little extra time – with a little extra intelligence and information that drives us to where we need to go for at least 90 days,” Aziz said.

Kristi King

Kristi King is a veteran reporter who has been working in the WTOP newsroom since 1990. She covers everything from breaking news to consumer concerns and the latest medical developments.

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