- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 24, 2001

ASSOCIATED PRESS — A task force that arrested 322 felony suspects last month an average of 12 a day did not significantly reduce Prince George's County's backlog of outstanding felony warrants, Sheriff Alonzo D. Black said.
"We tried to concentrate on our 300 most serious warrants, some of the most violent crimes occurring in our county," Sheriff Black said.
Since taking office in January, 1999, Sheriff Black has held two monthlong warrant sweeps each year. Last month, the FBI, the Maryland State Police, the Maryland-National Capital Park Police and the Prince George's County Police Department assisted in the effort.
When Sheriff Black took office, the county had 45,000 outstanding warrants. There currently are as many as 40,000 outstanding complaints.
While sweeps have cleared cases, the county's criminal justice system issues between 18,000 and 25,000 new warrants each year.
Sheriff Black said a lack of personnel prevents the county from conducting more sweeps.
"We have not accumulated any more bodies to put on the street," Sheriff Black said.
Of 2,848 warrants investigated in the latest sweep, 1,175 were closed with an arrest or as a result of the investigation.
During the four-week period ending Oct. 26, 19 suspects were arrested for attempted murder, seven were arrested for armed robbery and 92 were arrested on outstanding assault charges. Arrests were also made for arson, rape, child abuse, stalking and burglary.
Overtime helps to fund the sweeps, and municipal law enforcement personnel from smaller communities also have assigned officers to assist with the task force.
"They give us vital information to help pick up the suspects," Sheriff Black said.


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