- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Police honor citizen

Every year the Prince George’s County Police Department honors police officers and other police department employees with the Chief’s Award, a distinguished award given for outstanding and notorious achievement generally in the area of public service.

This year, one Chief’s Award will be given to Karen Bune, a private citizen living in Prince George’s County, for her passion in public service and interest in the police department.

Karen has taken the initiative to learn how the police department operates,” said Maj. Andrew Ellis with the Prince George’s County Police Department.

Ms. Bune, a George Mason professor and Department of Justice consultant, has written and published many articles about the county police, including for The Washington Times’ Citizen Journalism page.

Maj. Ellis said after speaking with commanders and officers, Ms. Bune informs the public about what is going on at the police department.

Usually private citizens are awarded Citizenship Awards, but Ms. Bune deserved the higher honor, Maj. Ellis said.

“It is fairly rare to give this award to a private citizen,” Major Ellis said, “but she has written several articles and we’re really impressed with the information she conveys.”

The awards ceremony for Ms. Bune and other recipients will be held Tuesday at police department headquarters.

PG County drives tourism

Thanks to outstanding job creation, positive economic impact and exemplary contributions to Maryland’s tourism industry, Prince George’s County was awarded the annual Economic Engine award by the Maryland Office of Tourism Development.

According to the press release, County Executive Jack B. Johnson said the award recognizes the investment Prince George’s County has made in tourism, according to released statement.

“By assisting high-profile developments such as National Harbor, we have made Prince George’s County a top-of-mind destination for business and leisure travelers from around the world,” Mr. Johnson said.

Prince George’s County leaders, including J. Matthew Neitzey, executive director of the Prince George’s County Conference and Visitors Bureau said they are “gratified” that Maryland has recognized the county’s “tremendous contribution to the state’s economic health.”

“As the economic engine, we are truly driving tourism growth in the region and the state,” Mr. Neitzey said.

The Maryland Office of Tourism Development tracks sales tax revenues and reports that Prince George’s County recorded an increase of slightly more than 16 percent in the tax categories of hotels, restaurants, car rental and recreation. That was the largest growth of any Maryland jurisdiction for the fiscal year ending June 30. Prince George’s County reported $37.7 million in the tourism tax codes in fiscal 2008 and in 2009 that amount increased to $44 million.

“This award clearly recognizes that the investment we have made in tourism in Prince George’s County is paying great dividends,” Mr. Johnson stated.


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