Angela Alsobrooks, the new prosecutor in crime-ridden Prince George’s County, Md., which adjoins Washington, D.C., plans an emphasis on quality-of-life crimes like car break-ins, vandalism, and burglaries, which affect thousands of residents for whom gangs, the drug trade and violent crime may seem distant, says the Washington Post. “These are crimes that cause people to feel uncomfortable in their neighborhoods,” Alsobrooks. She plans to initiate “community prosecutions” by assigning prosecutors to each of the county’s five police districts. In addition to their courtroom duties, these prosecutors will reach out to residents, learn about crime trends, and use social services and job training to help those who need it.
County prosecutors typically handle 9,500 new major cases – primarily felonies, such as murders, serious assaults, rapes and robberies – annually. Alsobrooks is taking over at a time when law enforcement in the county is contending with damaging revelations and perceptions that can complicate prosecutors’ jobs. In November, federal agents arrested two county officers in connection with a larger federal corruption probe in Prince George’s. Former county executive Jack Johnson and his wife, Leslie, were arrested by the FBI on charges of tampering with evidence and destruction of evidence.