Prince George’s Exile Partners Expanding Efforts to Reduce Violent Crime by Targeting Violent Repeat Offenders
Also Presented EXILE Achievement Awards to Federal, State and Local
Law Enforcement Officers
Greenbelt, Maryland - Leaders of the local, state and federal agency partners that are together implementing the Prince George’s EXILE strategy held a meeting today to discuss the progress of the program and plans for the future.
Also today, Prince George’s EXILE Achievement Awards were presented to 30 federal agents and Prince George’s County, Montgomery County and Metropolitan police officers whose outstanding work resulted in significant firearms or violent crime cases.
“Local, state and federal law enforcement agencies are working together to combat violent crime in Prince George’s County,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “We intend to send a powerful message that gun crime means jail time.”
“We hope to send a message to violent offenders that the unlawful use and possession of firearms to promote or facilitate illegal activities will not be tolerated,” says Special Agent in Charge Theresa R. Stoop. “Through law enforcement partnerships and programs like Prince George’s EXILE, we are holding those violent criminal offenders accountable for their actions, and we are seeking justice for the victims of crime and their families.”
“Today’s awards recognize the outstanding work that this partnership has provided to date, but the focus of all of the parties is on building upon this foundation and using the EXILE strategy to significantly and permanently reduce violence in our communities in the future,” said Prince George’s County Police Chief Mark A. Magaw. “Our efforts here provide a case study of the emerging paradigm in law enforcement that emphasizes multi-disciplinary partnering as the means to preventing victimization in an effective, cost efficient manner.”
Prince George’s EXILE is a unified and comprehensive strategy to combat gun crime initiated in 2006 by the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office, the Prince George’s County Police Department, the Maryland Division of Parole and Probation, the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Marshals Service, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force and the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The program combines law enforcement efforts, community action and revitalization, and public awareness. Details are available on the internet at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/md/Exile/index.html.
The EXILE strategy has led to an increasing number of federal defendants being charged with gun and other violent crimes. Many of the EXILE cases involve local gun arrests that result in lengthy federal prison sentences.
Under Prince George’s EXILE’s Violent Repeat Offender (VRO) initiative, representatives from EXILE partner agencies meet regularly to identify some of the most violent individuals in the county – individuals who belong to violent gangs or organizations operating in Prince George’s County and surrounding areas and individuals who have been charged with, or have been suspects in, shootings and murders. Some of these individuals have pending state gun, drug, or violent crime cases. Many are in violation of their parole or probation. Others have no pending charges but have lengthy and disturbing criminal histories. The members of the Violent Repeat Offender team determine the most effective strategy for arresting and detaining each individual or gang – including violations of parole or probation, aggressive prosecution of pending state or federal charges, or proactive investigations – and monitor the status of the pending case or investigation of each such individual or group. The Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office prosecutes defendants who have violated their probation, to get those repeat offenders off the streets.
In an effort to bring stronger cases, prosecutors from the USAO and SAO and ATF agents and task force officers provide specialized legal training for local and federal law enforcement officers. The USAO also provides specific training on search warrants and investigative techniques.
Representatives of the Maryland Division of Parole and Probation (DPP), the PGPD, ATF, SAO, and USAO have joined forces with community activists and groups to conduct “call-in” meetings for repeat offenders. DPP and the PGPD identify felons in the area who are on parole or probation for violent crimes or firearms offenses. At these meetings, representatives of the SAO, USAO, ATF, PGPD, and DPP communicate the message directly and unambiguously that these individuals are going straight back to jail if they commit another offense. County officials and community leaders also address the group, offering housing, educational, and job placement assistance to try to help these repeat offenders turn their lives around and to help prevent them from re-entering the cycle of violence in their communities. EXILE call-ins are held throughout the county on a regular basis.
In an effort to minimize the involvement of youth in gangs and violence the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Maryland State Department of Education and the Washington-Baltimore HIDTA have implemented an Anti-Gang School Outreach Program. It is designed to raise awareness among teachers, parents and school staff to recognize the presence of gangs in schools and the gang culture in the community, and to work with local law enforcement to reduce and eliminate gangs.
Prince George’s EXILE is a joint effort by the SAO, PGPD, the Maryland Division of Parole and Probation, the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention, the United States Marshals Service, ATF, DEA, HIDTA, FBI, ICE, and the USAO.