County po­lice open new train­ing, ed­u­ca­tion cen­ter

Up­per Marl­boro build­ing of­fers mod­ern tech, train­ing sys­tems

The Enquire-Gazette - - Front Page - By JOHNATHON CLINKSCALES jclinkscales@somd­news.com

The Prince Ge­orge’s County Po­lice De­part­ment is an­other step closer to strength­en­ing its re­la­tion­ship with the lo­cal com­mu­nity, es­pe­cially for res­i­dents who live in Up­per Marl­boro.

Chief of Po­lice Henry P. Staw­in­ski and County Ex­ec­u­tive Rush­ern L. Baker III (D) held a rib­bon-cut­ting cer­e­mony on April 7 to open PGPD’s new train­ing and ed­u­ca­tion fa­cil­ity in Up­per Marl­boro. The fa­cil­ity boasts mod­ern­ized tech­nol­ogy and train­ing sys­tems for the de­part­ment’s 1,800 of­fi­cers to take ad­van­tage

of, and is ex­pected to ac­com­mo­date an­other 150 re­cruits later this year.

“With ev­ery evolv­ing ad­vance­ment in train­ing, the po­lice de­part­ment has in­creased the amount of time of­fi­cers train,” said Act­ing Ma­jor Stephanie A. Franken­field, com­man­der of the train­ing and ed­u­ca­tion divi­sion. “What a change the train­ing process our agency has seen over the years. To­day marks yet an­other great time of ad­vance­ment into the fu­ture of train­ing cur­rent and re­cruit of­fi­cers in Prince Ge­orge’s County.”

Staw­in­ski said train­ing and ed­u­ca­tion are two things that will en­sure the de­part­ment’s com­mit­ment to be­ing the most pro­gres­sive and ef­fec­tive in the country. With the high an­tic­i­pa­tion of MGM Na­tional Har­bor open­ing later this year and the bright fu­ture of the econ­omy, he said the de­part­ment must evolve to pro­tect the busi­nesses and peo­ple who come to the county.

“This will be the place by which we be­gin to pre­pare the young men and women who choose to be­come Prince Ge­orge’s County po­lice of­fi­cers how to man­age not just crime … but also how do you pre­pare to deal with growth and pop­u­la­tion that we’ll see,” Staw­in­ski said. “We in­tend to be a leader in the sci­ence of polic­ing and not just do it bet­ter here, but show oth­ers how we can ef­fec­tively and be a part of that na­tional con­ver­sa­tion that shows how it can be done the best way for peo­ple through­out the United States.”

In or­der to be a world­class po­lice de­part­ment, Baker said PGPD must have world-class train­ing re­sources and fa­cil­i­ties. Hav­ing a mod­ern train­ing com­plex will help en­sure that of­fi­cers are ready to use 21st cen­tury strate­gies to ad­dress sit­u­a­tions as they county con­tin­ues its ef­forts in low­er­ing crime, he said.

“We’re here to cut the rib­bon on this fa­cil­ity that is go­ing to trans­form our in­cred­i­ble po­lice de­part­ment that is al­ready one of the best in the country, that’s ab­so­lutely the best through­out the na­tion,” Baker said. “The ac­tions, de­ci­sions, re­straints and char­ac­ter of our po­lice of­fi­cers show ev­ery­day through­out our county starts in a fa­cil­ity just like this.”

Over the last five years, the county’s po­lice force has low­ered crime by 40 per­cent as well as re­duced homi­cides and vi­o­lent crimes by one-third. As a re­sult of those ef­forts, busi­nesses have ei­ther came back or come to the county for the first time, and more kids have been able to play in their neigh­bor­hood streets, ac­cord­ing to Baker.

“This suc­cess isn’t solely a re­sult of politi­cians or poli­cies. It’s the in­cred­i­ble work of the rank of those po­lice of­fi­cers that push it to the limit ev­ery sin­gle day. Their work ethic and pro­fes­sion­al­ism is born and main­tained right here,” he said. “This year in this fa­cil­ity, we are likely to wel­come 150 new of­fi­cers. … We not only want to re­cruit the best and the bright­est, but we want of­fi­cers who are com­pas­sion­ate, di­verse, in­sight­ful and who love this county and the res­i­dents that they serve.”

When it comes to polic­ing, County Coun­cil Chair­man Der­rick Davis (D) said pub­lic safety, ed­u­ca­tion and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment are the “ba­sic ten­ants” that make up a great com­mu­nity.

“You could very well be train­ing the next chief of this de­part­ment who in an­other 10, 20 30 years has bared the re­spon­si­bil­ity of the great strides that we’ve made in Prince Ge­orge’s County with re­gards to pub­lic safety, with re­gards to ed­u­ca­tion, with re­gards to eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment,” Davis said. “It’s a great way to show peo­ple that with great lead­er­ship trans­lated into great man­age­ment that here, at the concords of power, Prince Ge­orge’s sits and we wait for ev­ery­one to come visit.”

Deputy Chief Ad­min­is­tra­tive Of­fi­cer for Pub­lic Safety Mark A. Ma­gaw — for­mer chief of po­lice — said the new train­ing and ed­u­ca­tion cen­ter is only the be­gin­ning for the po­lice de­part­ment.

“To have a state-of-the-art academy just re­ally points to our com­mu­nity how im­por­tant the po­lice de­part­ment is and how im­por­tant it is to have the right peo­ple trained the right way,”Ma­gaw said.

Staw­in­ski said the fa­cil­ity is the most im­por­tant step in terms of fos­ter­ing PGPD and mak­ing sure of­fi­cers carry out their du­ties in the best pos­si­ble way.

“This is the sec­ond fa­cil­ity that we’ve opened in a few months. The District 7 sta­tion was the first step,” he said. “It’s not just about train­ing the men and women of the Prince Ge­orge’s County Po­lice De­part­ment, but be­ing a part of the broader, re­gional, na­tional con­ver­sa­tion. This is the kind of fa­cil­ity that we can host peo­ple in and brings all of the tech­nol­ogy and ca­pac­ity that you can find, in any of the ma­jor metropoli­tan ar­eas, right here.”

STAFF PHOTO BY JOHNATHON CLINKSCALES

Prince Ge­orge’s Chief of Po­lice Hank Staw­in­ski, County Ex­ec­u­tive Rush­ern L. Baker, Po­lice De­part­ment Chap­lain Manuel Rivera, Coun­cil Chair­man Der­rick L. Davis and Deputy Chief Ad­min­is­tra­tive Of­fi­cer for Pub­lic Safety Mark A. Ma­gaw cut the rib­bon for the grand open­ing of the Prince Ge­orge’s County Po­lice De­part­ment’s train­ing and ed­u­ca­tion fa­cil­ity on April 7 in Up­per Marl­boro.

STAFF PHOTO BY JOHNATHON CLINKSCALES

A look in­side one of the emer­gency and first-aid train­ing rooms.

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