Friday, September 28, 2018

Be in the Picture!

We look forward to seeing you at the Purple Light Nights Domestic Violence Awareness Campaign Lighting Ceremony Monday at 6:30 pm. 

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Thanks to our colleagues at the Department of Family Services, Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking Division for continuing partnership with the Capital Wheel to light the wheel purple during the Domestic Awareness Month. The wheel will be purple on:

Monday, October 1st, 2018
Friday, October 5th, 2018
Friday, October 12th, 2018
Friday, October 19th, 2018
Monday, October 29, 2018

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Media Advisory - Purple Light Nights® Lighting Ceremony Celebrates 5th Year #PGSO

(Recognizing Fearless Leadership in the Fight Against Domestic Violence)

Upper Marlboro, MD… The Prince George’s County Office of the Sheriff will celebrate the 5th Anniversary of the Purple Light Nights® (PLN) lighting ceremony on October 1, 2018 – the ceremony that has come to be known as the kickoff event that begins Domestic Violence Awareness Month. “This fifth anniversary of the lighting ceremony will be a celebration of what our county can accomplish when we work together,” said Sheriff High. Sheriff High said the ceremony will recognize partners across sectors for their partnership, support and fearless leadership in raising awareness against domestic violence.

The “Purple Light Nights®” lighting ceremony continues the work of the Sheriff’s Domestic Violence Intervention Division (DVID), working with County Administration, county, and corporate/private professional partners to raise awareness, share information, highlight the range of resources available in the county, and serve victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. “Awareness is how citizens know the signs of abuse, know that there is help, and know where to get it. It’s impossible to imagine the end of domestic violence without the support and involvement of the community,” said High.

As in past years, during the lighting ceremony Sheriff’s Office personnel will again distribute purple light bulbs and ask that they shine them every night during Domestic Violence Awareness Month to signify the county’s unity in the fight against domestic violence.

WHAT/WHEN: Purple Light Nights® Lighting Ceremony October 1, 2018 6:30 p.m. – 8:00p.m.

WHO: Office of the Sheriff – Sheriff Melvin C. High County Executive Rushern Baker III – (A Walk Through Five (5) Years of Progress The “Purple Light-Bulb” Awards)

WHERE: County Administration Building, 14741 Governor Oden Bowie Dr., Upper Marlboro, MD 20772

Guests are invited to pick up lightbulbs, a fifth anniversary memento, take keepsake photos in the “Purple Light Nights®” picture frame between 6:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. The program will start promptly at 7:05 and conclude with the lighting ceremony countdown promptly at 8:00.

The media are invited to attend. For more information contact the Communications and Public Affairs Division at 301-780-7354. ###

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Sheriff’s Deputies Save a Life in the Line of Duty #PGSO

Upper Marlboro, MD… While executing a court-ordered eviction in the 1100 block of Palmer Rd. in Fort Washington on September 5, 2018, Deputies First Class S. Green and S. Smith spoke with the male tenant about the order to proceed with the eviction. The tenant was asked to gather essential items before vacating the apartment, but when he walked back to the bedroom he laid down on his bed. DFC Smith asked him to get off the bed and gather his personal items so the eviction could begin but the tenant, instead, began to open his nightstand drawer.

Aware of the potentially unsafe condition, Deputies positioned themselves tactically and both noticed that the tenant had a knife. DFC Green used OC spray on the man that did not subdue him. He continued to ignore all verbal commands, held the knife to his neck, and essentially threatened deputies by telling them that the only way he was leaving “is in a body bag.” The man attempted to cut his right wrist, was unsuccessful and began to try to cut his neck again. Deputies continued to give verbal commands and called for extra units with a taser to the scene.

As they waited, deputies attempted sympathetic reasoning with the tenant in an attempt to get him to drop the weapon. The deputies were assisted by off-duty Cpl. Mayberry who arrived on scene with a taser. Noticing that the man’s arm was tiring, Cpl. Mayberry talked with the tenant as he executed a taser strike that subdued the tenant sufficiently so that DFC Green could take possession of the knife. The tenant was taken into custody and transported to Southern Maryland Hospital for emergency psychiatric evaluation.

For more information, contact the Communications and Public Affairs Division at 301-780-7354.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

2018 Domestic Violence Awareness Calendar of Events #PGSO

Monday, October 1, 2018
Office of the Sheriff Presents:

5th Year Anniversary of Celebrating “Purple Light Nights®
Lighting Ceremony Lighting Ceremony begins at 7:00 pm
Pick up a FREE Purple Light Bulb
National Harbor Capital Wheel Lights up for Domestic Violence Awareness

Wednesday, October 3, 2018
Veterans and Families Domestic Violence Community Resource Days
Westphalia Community Center
8900 Westphalia Road, Upper Marlboro MD 6:30pm-8:30pm

Friday, October 5, 2018
County Employees wear Purple to bring Awareness to Domestic Violence
National Harbor Capital Wheel Lights up Purple for Domestic Violence Awareness

Friday, October 12, 2018
National Harbor Capital Wheel Lights up Purple for Domestic Violence Awareness

Saturday, October 13, 2018
Help Queens of Sheba MC Prevent Domestic Violence
11800 Laurel Bowie Road, Laurel MD 20708

Tuesday, October 16, 2018
Veterans and Families Domestic Violence Community Resource Days
Kentland Community Center
2411 Pine Brook Ave, Hyattsville, MD 6:30pm-8:30pm

Friday, October 19, 2018
The Maryland – National Capital Park Police and Company Presents:
“Shatter the Silence” Banquet and Silent
2411 Pinebrook Avenue, Landover MD 20785 7pm-11pm
Click Here for Tickets

National Harbor Capital Wheel Lights up Purple for Domestic Violence Awareness

Saturday, October 20, 2018
First Baptist Church of Glenarden Presents:
The Red Flag Conference
"Coming Out of the Darkness"
3600 Brightseat Road, Landover MD 20785
8:00am-12:30 pm

Monday, October 22, 2018
Veterans and Families Domestic Violence Community Resource Days
Laurel-Beltsville Senior Activity Center
7120 Contee Road, Laurel, MD

Saturday, October 27, 2018
The Maryland – National Capital Park Police and Company Presents:
“Shatter the Silence” 5k Walk/Run
Watkins Regional Park, Upper Marlboro Race starts at 9:00am
Click Here for Tickets

Sisters4Sisters, Inc and The Love Movement Presents:
The 13th Annual "Silent Tears No More" Breakfast
The Camelot by Martins 8:00am -11:00 am
Click Here for Tickets

The Domestic Violence Ministry Presents:
"The Silence"
Foot Foote Baptist Church
8310 Fort Foote Road, Fort Washington MD 20744
4:00 pm-6:00 pm

Monday, October 29, 2018
National Harbor Capital Wheel Lights up Purple for Domestic Violence Awareness

Tuesday, October 30, 2018
Office of the Sheriff Presents:
7th Annual Domestic Violence Partnership Luncheon 
(Invitation Only)

Just in Case You Missed it... Check Us Out! Countdown until Monday, October 1 2018 #PurpleLightNights #PgsoisEverywhere

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Monday, September 10, 2018

Making a Dream Come True with Courage, Preparation, and a Plan #PGSOisEverywhere

Upper Marlboro, MD…The dream of becoming a deputy sheriff began to take shape for Toria Roberts during a college internship with the Office of the Sheriff. Today, that dream is a reality because Deputy Roberts graduated from Police Academy Training Class Session 135 on May 2, 2018 to become the first law enforcement officer in her family.

Reaching her goal didn’t just happen. Deputy Roberts had to navigate the distance between her internship in the Sheriff’s Office and becoming a sheriff’s deputy. It’s a classic case of how to get from here to there. The answer for Toria Roberts is that she formulated and visualized a plan that she put in motion to make her dream come true.

Deputy Roberts says it all began when she interned at the Sheriff’s Office during the fall semester of 2013 as her college graduation approached. “It was kind of a surprising and strange feeling but I felt like I’d come face to face with my purpose in life.”

Ven Chapman, Executive Assistant to Chief Assistant Palmer, manages the Sheriff’s Office college and summer intern program says she saw Toria’s interest in the Sheriff’s Office growing. “I admired Toria’s tenacity from the beginning. When I met her she was working, going to school, and then interning with us. I saw her interest in law enforcement grow during the internship. We stayed in touch after her internship and I urged her to apply for an agency job opening after she graduated.”

Toria took Ms. Chapman’s advice. She applied and was hired for a civilian position in the Sheriff’s Office after she graduated from Bowie State University with a degree in Sociology with a minor in Criminal Justice in 2016. While Toria learned more about the Sheriff’s Office in her position in Warrants Processing, she stayed focused on her long-term goal by physical conditioning training so she could meet the fitness requirements of the police academy. Pam Cherry, who supervised Roberts in Warrants Processing believes Roberts’ civilian experience gave her a better understanding of the agency that will be helpful to her as a deputy. “I believe Deputy Roberts will go far in the agency,” she said. “I admired her work ethic; she always came early and stayed late to complete her work.”

Roberts’ hard work payed off. She was hired as a deputy recruit and entered the police training academy in September of 2017. As a female student deputy, she was taught to remain focused throughout the academy. “Although law enforcement continues to evolve, in many ways it remains a male-dominated environment. That’s not negative, it’s just a fact that makes women hyper-aware to distractions.”

From academy graduation to field training, Deputy Roberts says she appreciated the valuable information that was shared by each of her Field Training Officers (FTO). She says they had different styles of teaching and different styles of leadership. One FTO with a military background was highly detail oriented, while another was less so and allowed Roberts to learn more by doing, if she could do so safely. “Every FTO experience was valuable and it’s an eye-opening difference between the classroom and actually being on duty,” said Deputy Roberts.

Toria Roberts was born and raised in Prince George’s County, where she grew up in Accokeek community and graduated from Gwynn Park High School. As communities across the country grapple with the loss of young people who don’t return to their home communities after college because of a lack of career opportunities, Deputy Roberts is an example of a well-educated native Prince Georgian who saw opportunity in her home community and chose to serve.

Ven Chapman thinks Toria is a perfect example of the importance of the internship opportunities. “Deputy Roberts is the realization of what our goal is with internships - to expose young people to career opportunities right here in Prince George’s County and to hire them to serve in the community they know and love,” she says. “With a relevant minor in Criminal Justice, Toria might have chosen to begin her career in law enforcement someplace else but because of her experience here, she chose the Office of the Sheriff.”

Deputy Roberts agrees “I’m not sure I would have considered the Sheriff’s Office, but after learning so much during the internship, I really enjoyed the accessible size of the agency and the whole experience made me want to learn more.”

Roberts is already thinking about the next 5 years during which she plans to work toward being promoted as far as she can be in this agency. She is also interested in joining the K-9 Unit in the future, but for now, she loves her job as a deputy and is committed to being one of the best deputies in the agency.

Sounds like a plan.

Please Support the 2018 National Capital Region 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb & 5K Walk Hosted by Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department #PGSO

                                                                 Click Here to Register

September 15, 2018

Gaylord National Resort


Conference Center

Thursday, September 6, 2018

New Deputy Sheriffs in the News

County Executive Rushern Baker, III (left) with Alejandra Medrano-Munoz (center) and Sheriff Melvin C. High (right) as Munoz was formally introduced as new deputy for the Prince George’s County Office of the Sheriff at Riverdale Baptist Church in Upper Marlboro on Aug. 15 (Courtesy photo).

SEABROOK – For both Alejandra Medrano-Munoz and Jalaeme Gomez, standing in front of their friends and family as they were formally introduced as new deputies for the Prince George’s County Office of the Sheriff at Riverdale Baptist Church in Upper Marlboro on Aug. 15, it was a realization that they were no longer students.
Every decision they make moving forward as an effective law enforcement officer is real and can have long-term consequences. However, both are ready to start serving the community in the new role.
“I had mixed feelings, but it definitely was a sigh of relief (to graduate), but at the same time, we are not finished yet,” Gomez said. “It is real life, and not a controlled environment like the academy was. Our consequences actually matter and impact the community and our lives.”
They were two of five new deputies welcomed into the ranks after graduating from the Prince George’s County Police Academy as members of Session 136 class. The other three deputies that joined the sheriff’s office were Ryan Harris, Leonardo Johnson Jr., and Saheed A. Lawal.
“The academy was very challenging,” Medrano-Munoz said. “My family provided a lot of motivation and the community and teachers as well kept pushing us through all the up-and-down those eight months and they were always there to help us go through it.”
Since their graduation and joining the sheriff’s office, the new recruits have been going through a phasing-in process, where they work together with a field training officer to merge their academy teachings with real life. This allows them to acclimate to their roles while someone checks on their job performance in real time.
Medrano-Munoz is currently working with the domestic abuse unit while Gomez is currently in the courthouse.
The graduates completed a grueling eight-month coursework, which included basic training. While the physical aspect is necessary, they were taught how to talk to people and the psychology of how to approach different communities, Medrano-Munoz said.
“It is a long process, and we were in the academy for eight months,” Gomez said. “You’re constantly being challenged to get out of your comfort zone on a daily basis. But the motivation, the ultimate goal, was to graduate and make a difference in my community and I was willing to go through all of that to reach my goal.”
“It has been a hard time to recruit people into law enforcement in the past couple of years,” Director of Communications Sharon Taylor said. Nationwide, police departments have a shortage of staff despite the unemployment rate for this year being at its lowest, averaging 3.6 percent, for the last decade according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
However, for Gomez, it was a natural fit.
Even though his father, an architect, would have preferred him to enter into a similar career path, the Eleanor Roosevelt High School graduate said he was motivated “to help people.” He earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice at Bowie State University before heading to the academy.
Meanwhile, for Medrano-Munoz, the only new woman deputy, helping the community was a passion. As a Latina woman, she plans to use her bilingual speaking skills to help better serve the second-largest minority population (18.5 percent) in the county according to the most recent U.S. Census data.
“We are proud of all of their accomplishments,” Sheriff Melvin C. High said. “Academy training is a rigorous environment. Their dedication to serve the community is evident by their completion of this element of learning and preparing. We know that as they excelled in the Academy, they will continue to deliver top-notch service to the citizens of the county.”
Taylor acknowledged that Medrano-Munoz and Gomez serve as examples of the type of officers departments around the country are looking to recruit.
The Sheriff’s Office will use their successful completion of academy work and joined their department as part of the future recruitment of young cadets with good backgrounds and critical thinking skills.
“This is not just a job, this is a career,” Medrano-Munoz said. “You cannot come in doing it for yourself (because) you are out there protecting people and you are there when they need you the most.”