County police open new training, education center
Upper Marlboro building offers modern tech, training systems
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.”
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.
A look inside one of the emergency and first-aid training rooms.