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Pr. George's County Executive Tackles Spike In Homicides

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There have been nine homicides in Prince George's County, Md., in the first nine days of the New Year. County Executive Rushern Baker says he's working with local police to end the violence.

But first, you might ask why so many murders in such a short space of time. Baker says he put the same question to interim Police Chief Mark Magaw.

"...[Magaw] said this happens...at the New Year, you have turf battles that go on and so things of this nature happen," Baker says.

To address the problem, county law officials plan to execute a sizable shift of detectives to divisions which handle high crime investigation and drug enforcement. Others will be moved to a federal task force formed to help curb the string of violence.

According to Baker, county police know who to target.

"These are not unrelated crimes. A lot of these have to do with gang activity that we're looking at, drug related crimes, and so our thing right now is to make sure we close them, but more importantly that we put the people out in the street to try our best to make sure this doesn't happen," he says.

Investigators say the spike in homicides does not necessarily forecast a trend for the year.

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