PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY, Md. — Prince George's County has seen a decrease in crime halfway through 2022.
The number of homicides in the county has decreased almost 30% compared to the same time last year, according to Prince George's County Police Chief Malik Aziz. The amount of violent crime in the Maryland county has also decreased 16%.
In comparison, just across the border, D.C. has seen its homicides increase 21% while the amount of violent crimes have gone up 11%, according to Metropolitan Police Department data.
Prince George's County authorities say the decline in crime is attributable to several factors, including an emphasis on providing more resources to the county's youth.
On Tuesday, Prince George's State's Attorney Aisha Braveboy held another edition of her Our Streets, Our Future initiative in Oxon Hill, Maryland.
The event, which had a block party feel, included live music and dancing, all the while providing locals information on job opportunities.
This is the second year Braveboy has organized the initiative.
"We connected a lot of people to job opportunities," she said. "We really did expand the reach of some of our non-profits."
Oxon Hill resident Lawrence Parker, who attended the event, said that effort was key.
He said he was incarcerated for 15 years for committing a crime when he was 16. He said he was able to turn his life around after he got out because job opportunities were made available to him.
Now, he is the manager at a McDonald's restaurant in Suitland.
"These young kids ain't got nothing to do," he said. "If they're on the corner all day, they've got too much time to waste."
Aziz said increasing engagement with community members has been key for his department's success, too.
He adds police have also capitalized on their working relationships with the state's attorney's office, judges, and the county's department of juvenile services.
"The success that we've seen, over the last year, in collaboration, cannot be understated," he said.
The county has also had success taking guns off the street. Aziz said his officers have recovered 821 guns so far in 2022. At the same time last year, the department had only recovered 660 firearms.
However, carjackings are up in the county. Aziz said the county has had 219 carjackings in 2022, which represents a 63% increase over the same time last year.
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