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Sweep Of Outstanding Warrants Nets 600 Arrests In Prince George's County

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Gov. Martin O'Malley speaks at a press conference in Prince George's County on Oct. 30, 2013.
Matt Bush
Gov. Martin O'Malley speaks at a press conference in Prince George's County on Oct. 30, 2013.

A recently-completed sweep of outstanding warrants in Prince George's County led to the arrests of nearly 600 people.

Since taking office in 2010, Sheriff Melvin High has tried to whittle down a backlog of outstanding warrants that topped 50,000. It's dropped almost 11,000 since then and this latest sweep had particular targets in mind.

"The warrants were for violent offenders: Murder, rape, rape, robbery, assault," High says.

The swift drop in outstanding warrants certainly has the attention of Gov. Martin O'Malley, who likes to note the 30-year low in violent crime statewide during his tenure. He says Prince George's County alone accounts for much of the state's reduction in crime.

"There is no important work that we do," O'Malley says. "If we can't do this, none of the other stuff matters much."

If current trends continue through the final two months of the year, Prince George's County will see a drop in violent crime of more than 10 percent for the second year in a row. Maintaining that pace will be difficult in proceeding years, and county executive Rushern Baker is already asking the state for more money for law enforcement.

The governor notes that budget projections already show the state running a deficit next year.

"Given the federal shutdown, we took a hit on our revenues. We hope that silliness will have ceased," O'Malley says.

So any request for more money may have to be put on hold.

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