Prince George’s County, Md., which adjoins Washington, D.C., and has experienced a sharp jump in violent crime over the past five years, recorded a significant drop in the first quarter of 2006, reports the Washington Post. Homicides have decreased from 40 this time last year to 25 this year. Rapes, robberies, carjackings, and property crime are also down in the first quarter of the year. “We may have been down, but we were never out,” said Police Chief Melvin High. “This department has come back from a time of disrepair.”
High attributed the success to strategies put into effect last year that are gaining traction. They include creation of specialized units that targeted problems such as car thefts, carjackings, and general violence along the D.C. border. He redeployed administrative workers to patrol and reconfigured beats to increase police presence in neighborhoods. High said his strategy combines several approaches, so he cannot point to one factor that made the difference.