Grant to fund Washington Co. crime analyst

December 26, 2008|By ERIN JULIUS

WASHINGTON COUNTY -- A $72,461 grant to assist in ongoing gang prevention initiatives in Washington County, announced earlier this week by the United States Attorney's office in Baltimore, will fund a new 18-month position for a crime analyst.

Washington County Sheriff Douglas W. Mullendore will present the grant to the county commissioners for their approval, and hopes to hire someone to fill the position in early 2009, the sheriff said earlier this month.

About $1.2 million in grants were distributed to agencies throughout the state, paid for by federal funding that U.S. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, D-Md., secured as chairwoman of the Senate Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies to address Maryland's gang issue, a U.S. Attorney's spokeswoman said in a press release.

The analyst will coordinate information gathered by the gang investigative unit, comprised of one officer from the county and one from the city, Mullendore said.


"While they're getting a lot of intelligence and information, they have not had time to assemble it, look at how significant the gang problem is in the county," Mullendore said. "We have a feel for it, but not in an analytical format."

The crime analyst also will work with neighboring counties, such as Frederick County, Md., and in conjunction with the Western Maryland Information Center in Frederick, Md.

A number of youth gangs and adult gangs are active in Washington County, Mullendore said.

"You see a lot of tagging, drug activity is a very prevalent thing among gang organizations," Mullendore said.

More than 170 people in the county have been identified as gang members, and there probably are a lot more, Mullendore said.

Gang members also are released from the three state prisons south of Hagerstown, and the Division of Correction shares intelligence information with the county, he said.

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