In the continued enforcement efforts against crime committed with firearms in the Lexington Park area, Sheriff Tim Cameron and the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office announces the formation and mission of the Youth Gun Violence Task Force that was originally implemented in July 2020.
The reformation of the task force includes reassignment of personnel from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Division, Narcotics Division, Special Operations Division and the Criminal Investigations Division. School Resource Officers will later join the task force for the rest of this summer and will return to their assigned schools for the fall session.
To further support this initiative and to expand the approach to community policing, deputies from the Lexington Park COPs Unit have been reassigned to the Patrol Division where they can continue to engage with the community and share their knowledge and experience with Patrol deputies. The Lexington Park COPs Unit will reform after the task force’s work is completed.
The task force’s objectives include high visibility police presence in at-risk neighborhoods to reduce the propensity of gun violence; interdiction enforcement to recover illegally possessed firearms from persons and vehicles; utilize covert investigative strategies to identify suspects involved in gun crimes; review and evaluate both open and closed gun cases for actionable intelligence and engage community members and organizations to solicit information and cooperation.
The four pillars of the task force’s mission are enforcement, prosecution, education and community outreach and violence prevention initiatives which serve to reduce crime and the perception of crime while making the community a better place to live, visit and work.
The Sheriff’s Office will also provide the community with regular updates on the task force’s actions and provide arrest information made by the group.
Community meetings are planned with area businesses, schools and faith-based organizations as the task force continues its work over a three-month period, which will be announced to the public ahead of time. The Sheriff’s Office encourages public participation and input from the community.
“The fundamental goal of this task force initiative is to safeguard the community from the actions of violent criminals who are terrorizing and endangering the safety of our communities,” said Sgt. Shawn Moses, Task Force Coordinator.
While the task force conducts its work, the core values remain professionalism, integrity, respect and sanctity of life, Sheriff Tim Cameron said. “We are making a full commitment of our manpower and resources to dramatically reduce youth gun violence in the Lexington Park community, which in turn will improve the overall quality of life in St. Mary’s County,” he said.
Information and tips regarding gun violence in Lexington Park can be sent to StopGunViolence@stmarysmd.com or call 301-475-4200, ext. 78087. Citizens can also remain anonymous and contact St. Mary’s County Crime Solvers at 301-475-3333, or text a tip to “TIP239” plus their message to “CRIMES” (274637). Through the Crime Solvers Program tipsters are eligible for an award of up to $1,000 for information about a crime in St. Mary’s County that leads to an arrest or indictment.