State grant aids Prince George’s violent crime investigations unit -- Gazette.Net


Prince George’s County’s efforts to keep serious violent offenders behind bars will be aided thanks to a state grant that will be officially announced Thursday.

“In order for a person to stay off the street, we have to be able to prosecute them,” said John Erzen, spokesman for Prince George’s State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks.

A grant provided by the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention is being used to add and maintain staff members in the Alsobrooks’ Strategic Investigations Unit. Erzen said the funds will pay for 11 positions, most of which were covered previously by other grants.

Additional grant details will be provided at the announcement, Erzen said.

The aid is essential as Erzen said there are approximately 90 prosecutors in the state’s attorney’s office who deal with repeat violent offenders. “We’re talking about violent cases, homicides, assaults, rapes,” he said.

Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown (D) will announce the grant at Old Central Avenue in Capitol Heights, the site where Marckel Ross, 18, a Central High School junior, was found dead as a result of a gunshot wound on Sept. 11, 2012.

Erzen said the Strategic Investigations Unit worked closely with local law enforcement to charge Travon Bennett, 20, of Bryans Road with first-degree murder. Police arrested Bennett on Feb. 25, 2013. He is currently in jail on a no-bond status awaiting a December trial.

“It gives us an opportunity to highlight the unit and highlight the partnership between our office and the police department,” Erzen said.