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Violent crime is on pace to drop in Prince George's County for the second straight year by more than 10 percent, but residents and officials are wondering if those decreases can be maintained in future years.
County Executive Rushern Baker thinks yes, but only if the state gives them more money for law enforcement. "These men and women are doing a marvelous job. But certainly they need more deputy sheriff's, more state's attorneys," he says.
But more money doesn't seem likely right now, as the most current projections show Maryland running a budget deficit for next year. Governor Martin O'Malley blames that deficit on revenue losses caused by the federal government shutdown.
But he remains confident Prince George's County can keep up its crime fighting efforts without more money, as the county's drop helped Maryland's overall violent crime rate fall to a 30-year low.
"We've made the biggest strides in violent crime reduction that our state has ever achieved. And we did it in the toughest of times," he says.
Both O'Malley and Baker spoke at a press conference announcing close to 600 people had been arrested in Prince George's County following a three-month sweep of wanted criminals.