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June 6, 2010

Top 25 parole and probation offenders

The state prison system is to announce Monday a new web site that highlights the top 25 parole and probation offenders:

The Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS) is taking public safety efforts to the web.  In an effort to gain the public’s help in tracking down the Division of Parole and Probation’s (DPP) most wanted parole or probation violators, today launched our Most Wanted DPP Violators website. 

The new website contains individuals whose violation warrants have not been able to be served to date.  Photos, demographics and other known information about the top 25 outstanding warrants are highlighted on the page.

While DPP does not issue violation warrants, which is done by the Maryland Parole Commission or the Maryland Court System, their Warrant Apprehension Unit (WAU) is responsible for capturing individuals for whom a warrant has been issued after violating the terms of their discretionary parole, mandatory release, or court ordered probation. The WAU is part of DPP’s Community Supervision Enforcement Program (CSEP).

“Our agents are good at what they do, tracking down individuals in the community who have violated the public’s trust,” stated CSEP Director Vernon Skhur. “Sometimes however people fly under the radar and we need the eyes and ears of other residents to point us in the right direction. This can be a win-win for everyone.” 

The WAU consists of roughly 40 men and women with special law enforcement training to execute arrest warrants. Their main focus is VPI warrants, but they also work with warrant service task forces throughout the state. Over the last two fiscal years the unit’s clearance rate (defined as warrants served, not adjudicated) has been 90%.

“We see this webpage as a safe and innovative way for our Department to engage the public in an effort to track down those offenders who have violated the terms of there supervision,” said DPSCS Secretary Gary Maynard.

Anyone who has information on the individuals posted on this website are asked to call the WAU at (410) 333-8732 and give as much information about an offenders’ whereabouts as possible.  All information provided will remain confidential. Citizens will soon have the ability to email or text tips to DPSCS as well.

This latest effort is one of many new outreach tools the Department is utilizing to increase public safety in Maryland. Through an e-newsletter launched last month DPSCS is keeping stakeholders, such as our law enforcement and community partners, abreast of current initiatives. 

Social media outlets are also being brought onboard for the first time to encourage the public’s involvement in locating outstanding DPP violators.  Through Facebook and Twitter citizens can receive detailed highlights of some of our Most Wanted violators, updates on newly added violators, and follow DPSCS for news regarding other initiatives of the Department. 

DPSCS hopes to inform a broader audience of our public safety responsibility, one that each of us has a stake in improving.

The Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services protects the public, its employees
and the detainees and offenders under its supervision.

Posted by Peter Hermann at 10:52 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Breaking news, Prisons

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About Peter Hermann
Peter Hermann started covering news for The Baltimore Sun in 1990, first in Anne Arundel County and, starting in 1994, reporting on the Baltimore Police Department. In 2001, he was assigned to Jerusalem as the Baltimore Sun's Middle East correspondent. He returned in 2005 as an assistant city editor overseeing crime coverage. In 2008, Peter returned to the beat as a daily reporter and blogger. A recent BBC report featured him in a segment on the harsh realities of covering crime in Baltimore.

Coverage will focus on crime trends, problems in neighborhoods in the city and elsewhere, profiles of victims and police officers and try to offer readers a fresh perspective on one of the most vexing issues facing Baltimore and its future.

Contributing to this blog is Justin Fenton, who joined The Sun in 2005 and has covered the Baltimore City Police Department and the criminal justice system since 2008. His work includes an investigation into Cal Ripken Jr.’s minor league baseball stadium deal with his hometown of Aberdeen, a three-part series chronicling a ruthless con woman, coverage of the killing of five Amish children at a schoolhouse in Nickel Mines, Pa., and a job swap with a British crime reporter to explore differences in crime-fighting. A special report looking into how city police handle rape cases led to sweeping reforms that changed the way sexual assaults are investigated in Baltimore. He was recognized as the best reporter in Baltimore by the City Paper in 2010 and by Baltimore Magazine in 2011.

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