PG County Police Dept.
I'm looking into applying with the Prince George's County Police Department in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C.
I realize this is a high crime area and the police department doesn't have the best reputation. However, the pay is great and the experience would be practical.
If I worked the midnight shift, the base starting salary would be $48,895 and I could retire with 20 years of service at 60% of my annual salary. Not to mention the take home patrol car that can be operated for personal use, and the uniform allowance, tec pay, paid time off, and medical benefits.
Remember, the superior pay and benefits would be for a highly demanding and stressful job in a high crime area with a bad departmental reputation. The county has been struggling to hire police officers despite threats from the state of Maryland, demands from the Department of Justice stemming from a federal civil rights lawsuit against the department, and proactive efforts by the department to do so. In fact, lawmakers have placed a freeze on residential development until the county hires more officers. They are far from their authorized strength, and always have been. The homicide caseload is high (178 homicides in 2005) in this county of 850,000 people. I currently live in Fairfax County, Virginia, and every day on the news is something about a murder in PG County. According to a Washington Post article quoting a former PG County police officer, the officer would sometimes hear on his radio that 25 emergency calls were on hold and 5 officers were able to respond.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...2005Apr16.html (Pr. George's Struggles With Vacant Police Jobs)
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...053000953.html (County's Homicide Caseload is High)
http://www.gazette.net/stories/01050...22_31903.shtml (County lawmakers forge ahead with carry-over issues)
What are your opinions/thoughts on this issue with the public safety troubles in PG County and is there any hope for the future or will this turn into another Washington, D.C.? If I applied for the department thinking I could just do my job and make somewhat of a difference, would I last 20 years? I wouldn't expect to change the world, but just be a competent officer and move on after my 20 years was up.
Thanks for your input.