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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Senator Cardin, Prince George’s County Sheriff High, State’s Attorney Alsobrooks Lead Call to pass Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act



Roundtable brings together victims, social services, law enforcement, clergy, and others on the front lines of support for victims of domestic violence

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), Prince George’s Sheriff Melvin High, Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks, Prince George’s County Police Chief Mark Magaw, along with representatives of the Family Crisis Center, Maryland Crime Victims Resource Center and the Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence, House of Ruth, and other members of the Prince George’s community who are involved with support for victims of domestic violence were united today in their call for swift action by the House of Representatives to pass the Senate version of legislation to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act. The call for action followed a roundtable discussion led by Senator Cardin, hosted by Sheriff High, about the benefits of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and the progress and challenges to ending domestic violence in Prince George’s County, the State of Maryland and the Nation. 
“The Violence Against Women Act has a proven track record of protecting women from domestic violence and it is hard to understand opposition to legislation with the goal of curbing domestic violence.  Saving women’s lives should not be a partisan issue,” said Senator Cardin. “The statistics of domestic violence are alarming, yet, domestic violence remains one the most under-reported crimes in the country. These victims need to know that they have our support, including access to justice, help with housing, medical care, and economic opportunity.”
“The oath that I took obligates me to protect all people, without political consideration. The Violence Against Women Act should be reauthorized with only this concept of law enforcement in mind and with the commitment of our country to the protection of women and girls,” added Sheriff High.
“For more than a decade, my office has received funding from the Violence Against Women Act and that has allowed our domestic violence unit to provide greater services to victims of abuse,” Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Alsobrooks said. “Without this funding, we would lose a domestic violence advocate and a prosecutor who is assigned specifically to domestic violence cases, reducing our ability to help victims.  I strongly urge the House of Representatives to pass the Senate version of VAWA to ensure that we continue to receive this critical funding.”
“As the premiere domestic violence program in Prince George’s County, serving women and children for more than thirty years, we believe that if H. R. 4970, as crafted by the House of Representatives, is passed, it would not only set women back 50 years, but would be a travesty for women and children of this nation now and for years to come,” Malinda Miles, Executive Director of the Family Crisis Center, Inc. of Prince George's County said.
“Combating domestic violence remains a primary focus of the Prince George’s County Police Department. Our collaborative partnerships with all involved stakeholders will ensure this important public safety issue gets the attention it deserves. We’re thankful to Senator Cardin for his enthusiastic and steadfast support,” said Prince George’s County Police Chief Mark Magaw.
The Senate passed its version of the VAWA reauthorization issue in April. 15 Republicans joined with the Democratic majority and passed this bill with an overwhelming vote of 68-31. The bill was improved since its first passage 18 years ago. The Senate-passed version of the law includes measures to ensure that victims are not denied services because they are gay or transgender. It protects Native Americans women from domestic violence and sexual assault, and includes non-discrimination protection for all victims, regardless of their race, color, religion, or gender. The VAWA encourages collaboration among law enforcement, judicial personnel, and public and private service providers to victims of domestic and sexual violence. It also works to increase public awareness.
One in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner every year. In Maryland, in 2009, there were more than 18,500 reported cases of domestic abuse and 38 fatalities.  That period of time has been the lowest number of domestic violence-related deaths on record for the state, but these numbers are still unacceptable.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

*** MEDIA ADVISORY*** SENATOR BEN CARDIN CONVENES ROUNDTABLE, HOSTED BY PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY SHERIFF HIGH TO DISCUSS CHALLENGES AND PROGRESS TO ENDING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND THE NEED TO UPDATE FEDERAL LEGISLATION

On Thursday, May 31, at 10:00 a.m. U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) will lead a roundtable discussion of the benefits of the Violence Against Women Act and the progress and challenges to ending domestic violence in Prince George’s County, the State of Maryland and the Nation.  Joining Senator Cardin for this discussion will be host Prince George’s Sheriff Melvin High, as well as Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks, along with representatives of the Maryland Crime Victims Resource Center and the Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence, The House of Ruth, and other members of the Prince George’s community who are involved with support for victims of domestic violence and the fight to end such violence.
Following the roundtable, Senator Cardin, Sheriff High, State’s Attorney Alsobrooks, and other participants will join together to call on the House of Representatives to pass the Senate-approved version of the Violence Against Women Act
               WHAT:                 Roundtable on the fight to end domestic violence
               WHEN:                 Thursday, May 31, 2012
10:00-10:45AM – ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION
10:45-11:00 – MEDIA AVAILABILITY w/Senator Cardin, Sheriff High, State’s Attorney Alsobrooks and others
               WHERE:              Prince George's County Office Of The Sheriff – 2nd Floor Conf
                                            Room.
                                            5303 Chrysler Way Upper Marlboro, MD 20773

Additional invited participants:  Family Crisis Center, House of Ruth, Local Clergy, Prince George’s County Hospital Center for Domestic Violence, Prince George’s County Domestic Violence Coordinating Council, Prince George’s County Police
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Friday, May 25, 2012

Sheriff High Says Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team Report an Important Tool in County’s Response to Domestic Violence

Upper Marlboro, MD… Prince George’s County Sheriff Melvin C. High said the Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team (DVFRT) Report and Recommendations released to the public yesterday is an “important tool in the County’s response to domestic violence.” High said that bringing the knowledge and experience of all the organizations that provide assistance to victims of domestic violence, into a collaborative process to improve and enhance the County’s response to these incidents is, “problem-solving at its best.”

The 2012 Report is the first issued since the DVFRT was established in legislation and first convened in Prince George’s County in 2007. The chair of the Team, and Managing Attorney for House of Ruth Maryland, Judith Wolfer, said she was pleased by the release of the first report, and to share the Team’s work with state and county officials, and with the public.

“I want to congratulate and thank Chair Judith Wolfer and all of the members of the Team for their work and the completion of this first, benchmark Report, “said Sheriff High. “Their work provides valuable guidance to those of us who work together every day to improve our response to domestic violence.” While the Report makes recommendations for law enforcement, court commissioners, parole and probation, the judiciary, domestic violence agencies and faith-based organizations, High said he was pleased by the DVFRT’s top recognition for law enforcement which called for wider use of the Domestic Violence Intervention - Supplemental Report – a critical on-scene investigative tool in domestic violence incidents - pioneered by the Office of the Sheriff. According to Sheriff High, following that one recommendation will help improve response countywide, increase access to services and assistance for victims, and contribute to case follow-up and prosecutions. “That is a goal I believe all of our partners share,” said High.    

A complete copy of the DVFRT Report and Recommendations is available at www.hruth.org/files/library/FRTReportandRecommendations2012.pdf.
For additional information, contact the Prince George’s County Sheriff’s Press Information Office at 301-780-2773.
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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Prince George’s County Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team Releases 2012 Report and Recommendations

                                      
                                                                               
Prince George’s County Domestic Violence
Fatality Review Committee
P.O. Box 187
Hyattsville, MD  20781

Upper Marlboro, MD…The Prince George’s County Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team released its first Domestic Violence Fatality Review Report and Recommendations since the Team was initially convened in 2007.  Judith Wolfer, Managing Attorney for the House of Ruth Maryland and chair of the Team, said the 2012 Report was completed in January and distributed to the Governor, Prince George’s County Executive, county agency heads, law enforcement officials, and organizations providing services to victims of domestic violence. 

The purpose of Domestic Violence Fatality Review Teams is to study the facts surrounding domestic violence homicides and make recommendations aimed at improving a community’s response to these incidents, and to reduce or eliminate domestic violence-related deaths. Almost every county in Maryland now has a Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team. 

“We’re pleased by the completion of our first Report and the opportunity to share our work with state and county officials, and with the public, “said Judith Wolfer. “This is an important undertaking that can literally save lives.  I so appreciate the dedication and participation of all the partners in the completion of the Report.”  

Wolfer said the 2012 Report includes recommendations for Law Enforcement, Court Commissioners, Parole and Probation, the Judiciary, domestic violence agencies and faith-based communities.  “We have a diversity and strength of partners putting their powers of investigation into both the systemic causes of domestic violence homicides and their prevention.”

The bottom line of the Report according to Wolfer is the Team’s finding that proactive intervention at the first moment a victim seeks help leads to better evaluation and response by community agencies, which has a deterrent effect on domestic violence.  An important example of proactive on-site evaluation is addressed in the Report’s top recommendation for law enforcement – the suggestion that all County law enforcement agencies immediately begin to use the Domestic Intervention – Supplemental Report pioneered by the Office of the Sheriff or a similar form when responding to domestic violence emergency calls for service.

Prince George’s County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Colonel Regina Taylor, Bureau Chief of Field Operations said, “The Supplemental Report is critically important to the investigation of a domestic violence incident. The comprehensiveness of the report can be central to following up on a case and to court proceedings.”

Taylor said the Office of the Sheriff can review Supplemental Reports for law enforcement partners that don’t have specialized domestic violence units, and have the Sheriff’s Domestic Violence Advocates contact victims directly who may be in need of assistance. “The Report’s recommendation will improve Domestic Violence Response countywide, and will allow access to the assistance provided to victims by our Domestic Violence Advocates, “said Taylor.

Similar recommendations were made for court commissioners offices.  Court commissioners often see victims immediately after an abusive incident and therefore are critically important players in working to prevent domestic violence homicides. 

The Report notes that domestic violence incidents have risen every year that statistics have been kept in Prince Georges’ County.  From January through November of 2011 there were 12,979 domestic violence calls for service.  In 2010, the Report says that the 10,574 protective and peace orders filed in the County comprised one-fifth of all state filings.

“There is no question that there’s a great deal of work to be done, but our continuing review of domestic violence fatalities only strengthens our understanding of where we can make a difference in preventing future fatalities.  These Recommendations can focus our community’s ability to make important changes in the way we work with victims or perpetrators, and ultimately, prevent deaths,” said Wolfer. 

A complete copy of the Report and Recommendations is available at the House of Ruth:  http://www.hruth.org/files/library/FRTReportandRecommendations2012.pdf.  

For additional information, please contact Judith Wolfer from the House of Ruth Maryland, Inc., at (410) 554-8463.
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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Deputies Mentor at G. James Gholson Middle School


Cpl. William Harvey Sr.  and Cpl. Yadira Rodriguez-Washington of the Office of the Sheriff’s Community Partnership Unit speak with students at  G. James Gholson Middle School on Alcohol, Tobacco and Drug Awareness. In addition, the interactive discussion included how students could be proactive in dealing with peer pressure in their schools and communities.

Sheriff's Deputies in eight Middle Schools engage students regularly as a way of understanding the variety of challenges that young people face and mentoring them through constructive processes for dealing with them. The Eight Schools are Drew-Freeman, Oxon Hill, Stephan Decatur, Thurgood Marshall, Thomas Johnson, Benjamin Stoddard, James Madison and G. James Gholson.



Sheriff’s Deputies/ U.S. Marshals Arrest Attempted 2nd Degree Murder Suspect

Upper Marlboro, MD… The Office of the Sheriff's Warrant Squad reported the arrest today of Carlos Monge-Martinez on an Attempted Second Degree Murder warrant obtained by County Police District I detectives on April 23, 2012.

According to the warrant, Monge-Martinez used a kitchen knife to stab his ex-girlfriend and attempted to stab a male after a physical altercation in the 7900 block of 18th Avenue in Hyattsville, MD on April 23, 2012.

After investigating several locations in search of Monge-Martinez, Sheriff’s Deputies and members of the U.S. Marshals Task Force arrested Monge-Martinez yesterday at a Red Bank, New Jersey address. He is being charged as a fugitive from Prince George’s County and is awaiting extradition. District I detectives were notified of his arrest.

In addition to Attempted Second Degree Murder, Monge-Martinez is also charged with two counts of First and Second Degree Assault, and Reckless Endangerment.

For more information, contact the Prince George's County Office of the Sheriff's Press Information Office at 301-780-8637.                                                            
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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Sheriff's Explorers Post 1696 Participates in the Annual Best Buddies Friendship Walk

The Sheriff’s Explorers Post 1696 provided a color guard for the 2012 Best Buddies Friendship Walk.  "Since 2009 Best Buddies has initiated a friendship walk that educates the public on the need for social inclusion, and empowers people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to become leaders within their community."  

 For More information on the Best Buddies Program visit: http://www.bestbuddiesmaryland.org/


SHERIFFS REMEMBER FALLEN AT CANDLELIGHT MEMORIAL SERVICE

Upper Marlboro, MD… Prince George’s County Sheriff Melvin C. High, the Sheriff’s Office Command Staff and Sheriff’s Deputies began National Police Week on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 by joining other public safety partners at the annual Candlelight Memorial Service to pay tribute to all law enforcement officers who gave their lives in Prince George’s County.  The Service, sponsored by the Prince George’s County Police Command Officers’ Association was held in the County Council Hearing Room.  Ms. Jamey Arnaud, daughter of fallen Prince George’s County Deputy Sheriff Sergeant James Arnaud was the guest speaker.

Sergeant Yakeisha Hines read a poem dedicated to fallen Deputy Sheriff First Class (DFC) Elizabeth Magruder with whom she became close friends while they were police academy classmates.  Sergeant Arnaud and Deputy First Class Magruder were killed while attempting to serve an emergency psychiatric order on August 29, 2002.  Each was survived by spouses and children, in addition to friends and colleagues within the Office of the Sheriff.

Sheriff’s Office Command Staff escorted Ms. Arnaud and Sgt. Hines as they lit candles during the service in honor of Sergeant Arnaud and DFC Magruder.  Retired Lieutenant Colonel Robert Kiker played “Taps” at the conclusion of the ceremony.

Sheriff High said “This solemn event pays tribute to the heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice in serving the citizens of Prince George’s County.  It’s a time when family, friends and law enforcement officers share and remember loved ones and colleagues.  As Sheriff, I and this entire agency still grieve for Sgt. Arnaud and DFC Magruder and their families.”

This event is one of the first of many in the region associated with National Police Week which began in 1962 when President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation designating May 15th as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as Police Week.  Today, tens of thousands of law enforcement officers from around the world come to Washington, D.C. during the week to participate in a number of planned events which honor fallen officers.

For more information, contact the Prince George’s County Sheriff’s Office Press Information Office at 301-780-7354.
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Monday, May 7, 2012

Sheriff’s Warrant Deputies Arrest Robbery Suspect

Upper Marlboro, MD… The Office of the Sheriff's Warrant Squad arrested Jesse Young Friday on a Robbery warrant obtained by County Police (PGPD) District I detectives on April 28, 2012.
According to the warrant, Young is alleged to have assaulted and robbed a woman of her purse and attempted to assault another male who tried to assist her, in the 8600 block of Baltimore Avenue, College Park, MD.

On May 4, 2012 Sheriff Deputies located Young at an address in the 6100 block of Hemlock Way, Clinton MD. He was arrested and transported to the Prince George’s County Department of Corrections where he is being held on a $50,000.00 bond. District I detectives were notified of his arrest.

In addition to Robbery, Young was also charged with two counts of First and Second Degree Assault, two counts of Reckless Endangerment and Theft: Less than $1,000.00.

For more information, contact the Prince George's County Sheriff's Office Press Information Office at 301-780-8637.
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2012 Community Events (5/5/2012)

On Saturday, Sheriff Melvin C. High and members from the Sheriff's Office joined other elected officials at Seat Pleasant Day, Suitland Community Day, and the Harlem Renaissance Festival. Here are some of the photos from these events. 










Sheriff’s Deputies Arrest Suspect Wanted for First Degree Assault

Upper Marlboro, MD… The Warrant/Fugitive Division reported the arrest last Thursday of Genene Simpson on an arrest warrant for First Degree Assault, obtained by District V detectives from the Prince George’s County Police.

According to the warrant, Simpson assaulted a male victim following a verbal altercation which occurred at the victim’s residence. Simpson is further alleged to have struck the victim with her vehicle, causing injury.

Sheriff’s Deputies located and apprehended Simpson as she attempted to flee from the rear door of a residence, in the 4000 block of 28th Avenue in Temple Hills, MD, as deputies approached.

District V detectives were notified of Simpson’s arrest and she was subsequently transported to the Prince George’s County Department of Corrections. Simpson is charged with First and Second Degree Assault.

For additional information, contact the Prince George’s County Sheriff’s Press Information Office at 301-780-2773
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Sheriff’s Deputies Arrest First Degree Assault Suspect

Upper Marlboro, MD… The Warrant/ Fugitive Division reported the arrest last Friday of Kenneth Davis Jr. on an arrest warrant for First Degree Assault, obtained by the Mount Rainier Police Department (MRPD) on April 21, 2012.

According to the warrant, Davis attempted to stab a female victim following both verbal and physical altercations while they were travelling in the victim’s vehicle in Mt. Rainier, MD. In the warrant the MRPD also stated that the suspect fled the scene as officers arrived.

Deputies located Davis’ at a residence in the 9100 block of Varnum St. in Lanham, MD, where they took him into custody without incident on May 5. MRPD detectives were notified of the arrest and Davis was transported to the Prince George’s County Department of Corrections where he is being held on a “No Bond” status.

Davis is charged with First and Second Degree Assault, Possession of a Dangerous Weapon with Intent to Injure, and Theft under $100.00.

For additional information, contact the Prince George’s County Sheriff’s Press Information Office at 301-780-2773
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Friday, May 4, 2012

Sheriff’s Command Staff Join Special Olympics Spring Games

Upper Marlboro, MD… Sheriff Melvin C. High, Chief Assistant Sheriff Darrin Palmer and Sheriff’s Office Senior Command Staff celebrated Special Olympians yesterday, joining them for the Special Olympics Maryland’s Annual Prince George’s County Spring Games at the Sports and Learning Complex in Landover, MD.

The Games provide sports training and athletic competition for persons eight years of age or older, who have intellectual disabilities. With the Games, athletes have an opportunity to develop physical fitness and to experience the fun of friendly competition.
Several hundred athletes from Prince George’s County took part in a variety of Olympic-styled sporting events, including the broad jump and relay races.

Hyattsville City Police Chief Doug Holland, the point person for the Prince George’s County Games said, “I never tire of seeing how much fun our Special Olympic athletes have when they’re competing. With the continued support from businesses, county agencies, and the community, we always have an outstanding day of fun.”

Sheriff High said, “Special Olympics are one of the annual events I’ve come to look forward to. The Olympians are energized by activity and competition. They so enjoy the support of the community and we love being there to cheer them to victory.”

In January, members from the Sheriff’s Office participated in the 16th Annual Polar Bear Plunge at Sandy Point State Park, where the Office was able to raise over $1,000.00 for the Special Olympics in just the first 48 hours.


For additional information, contact the Prince George's County Sheriff's Press Information Office at 301-780-2773.

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Sheriff’s Deputies Arrest Rape Suspect at BWI Marshall Airport

Upper Marlboro, MD... The Office of the Sheriff's Warrant Squad arrested Obrian James yesterday on a Second Degree Rape warrant obtained by County Police (PGPD) District IV detectives on November 8, 2011.

According to the warrant, James is alleged to have sexually assaulted a female after pulling her into a room and locking the door, at his residence located in the 300 block of Beverly Court, Fort Washington, MD on October 13, 2011.

Initial information obtained by Sheriff’s Deputies indicated that James had fled the country. Yesterday, additional investigative efforts led Deputies to the Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI Marshall) where James was located disembarking a flight from Jamaica. With the assistance of the airport authority police, James was taken into custody without incident and transported to the Prince George’s County Department of Corrections where he is currently being held. District IV detectives were notified of his arrest.

In addition to Second Degree Rape, James was also charged with Second Degree Assault, and False Imprisonment. For more information, contact the Prince George's County Sheriff's Office Press Information Office at 301-780-8637.
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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Joint Warrant Operation Closes 330 Warrants with 305 Arrests

Upper Marlboro, MD… The Sheriff’s Warrant/Fugitive Division reported the arrest of 305 suspects in a joint warrant operation conducted April 16th - 27th.   The operation was funded with the remainder of a grant from last summer’s warrant initiative funded by the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention (GOCCP).

A number of law enforcement partners participated in the operation, including the Department of Corrections, Maryland State Police (Forestville Barrack), Greenbelt Police Department, Seat Pleasant Police Department, District (IV) County Police, the Charles County Sheriff’s Office, and the US Marshal Service. “Success is often assured when we combine resources with other partners in law enforcement,” said Sheriff Melvin High. “These operations work for all of us and for the community.”

With 305 arrests, the operation resulted in the closure of 330 warrants. The operation, which was conducted throughout Prince George’s County, resulted in the captures of 2 attempted murder suspects, 18 suspects of drug related crimes, and 15 robbery and burglary suspects.

“This funding from the Governor and GOCCP gave us and our partners the extra resources we needed to knock on a lot of doors and we delivered,” said High. “These warrant closures bring the GOCCP grant productivity total to 1148 warrants closed”

For additional information, contact the Prince George’s County Sheriff’s Press Information Office at 301-780-2773
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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Sheriff’s Deputies Arrest Attempted First Degree Murder Suspect

Upper Marlboro, MD… The Sheriff’s Warrant/Fugitive Division has reported the arrest of Thomas Livingston Moore on an arrest warrant obtained by County Police District II detectives for Attempted First Degree Murder.

According to the warrant, dated April 26, Moore is alleged to have shot a male victim in the face on April 25, following a verbal altercation in Upper Marlboro, MD. Sheriff’s Deputies approached Moore’s attorney and were able to negotiate his surrender. Moore was subsequently taken into custody at the Prince George’s County Detention Center where he turned himself in.

District II detectives were notified of Moore’s arrest, and he is currently being held by the Prince George’s County Department of Corrections on a “no bond” status. He is charged with Attempted First and Second Degree Murder, First and Second Degree Assault, Use of a Firearm in a Violent Crime, Illegally Carrying a Handgun on Person.

For additional information, contact the Prince George’s County Sheriff’s Press Information Office at 301-780-2773
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