PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY, Md. -- A Prince George’s County officer is on suspended leave with pay after allegedly asking for money to get rid of traffic violations.

Prince George’s County Police Chief Hank Stawinski said Saturday one of his officers has been suspended with pay. The chief said he opened an investigation into the unidentified officer less than 24 hours ago after receiving what he called disturbing allegations from two people who were stopped by the officer separately.

“This is, if proven true, extraordinarily troubling,” said Stawinski.

Stawinski said the officer was on duty and in uniform during the traffic stops. After telling the citizens they were subject to a number of traffic violations, Stawinski said the officer demanded cash in exchange for being let off the hook. Stawinski, who said the officer has been with the department for several years, said the amount of cash in question is a couple hundred dollars.

“I want the community to know that I’m aware of this,” Stawinski said Saturday from outside the Prince George’s County Police Complex.

he chief said he is concerned more citizens have been affected by the officer’s demands. He is asking the public to come forward if they have had a similar experience in the county. The citizen will not be held responsible if they have paid any officer at any point.

“The allegations go back a few weeks,” said the chief. “If that’s true, then I know other people in my community probably know about this, and there’s the possibility that other people in my community have been subjected to this.”

Stawinski said his investigators are also looking into whether more officers could be involved.

“If proven true, this is quite simply a crime,” said Stawinski.

Prince George’s County Police ask you to call 301-772-4795 if you have any information on the situation.