In perhaps the most difficult year for policing in recent memory, the Prince William County Police Department once again demonstrated itself as a superb organization of men and women who risk their lives for friends, neighbors, and strangers, alike.
The report, which can be found here, reflects an abundantly transparent document highlighting the men and women who make up the Prince William PD, its services to the community, history, crime statistics, and its commitment to professional excellence.
Contrary to the false narrative pushed by noted local media outlets, the statistics show a remarkably disciplined force for a jurisdiction with a population nearing half a million residents.
Despite the number of aggravated assaults on county police officers increasing by 550% from 2019 to 2020 (6 to 39) as a result of the false narrative pushed by the media and certain political corners, Prince William County Police maintained their cool. Out of 163,356 calls for service, only one resulted in a use of force complaint – which was found to be unfounded after a thorough investigation.
From 2016-2020, only 18 allegations of excessive force were made in a county of nearly half a million people, and only one of those 18 were found valid after investigation – a remarkable number. Meanwhile, 682 offenses were committed against members of the Prince William County Police Department during this period.
Furthermore, only four allegations of any type of bias and/or racial profiling were made in 2020. All complaints were investigated and determined to be unfounded. Bringing the five-year total to only 1 out of 36 complaints of bias or racial profiling found credible.
One use of deadly force occurred in 2020. A December 10th call to a home where a man was threatening suicide. After a lengthy encounter, a 79 year-old white male, was fired upon after pointing his weapon at the officers on scene. Upon reviewing the facts and details of the investigation, Ms. Amy Ashworth, the Commonwealth Attorney for Prince William County, ruled the actions of the officers involved in the incident were “…justified and reasonable under the circumstances of this tragic encounter.” Ms. Ashworth stated, “In this incident, the danger posed by the decedent was real… Each of the officers expressed that they believed either they, individually, were in danger of being killed or that the other officers present were in danger of being shot or killed.”
Due to such exemplary results, he Prince William County Police Department has sustained overwhelming support from the community they serve. A scientific community survey was conducted in December of 2020, which showed the department scored in the 92nd percentile or above in terms of resident satisfaction in all nine areas surveyed, including “the fair treatment of everyone, regardless of race, gender, ethnic, or national origin.”
Asked to comment in an e-mail on the use of force numbers by The Washington Post last month, Supervisor Vega responded:
“Prince William County Police use force when someone is resisting arrest. To suggest race as a motivator would be to push a narrative that doesn’t exist here in the county.
I’d refer you to page 87 of the report. In the past five years, 1 of 16 excessive force complaints and 1 of 36 complaints of bias have been sustained.
The report demonstrated once again that Prince William County’s Police Department is professional and top notch, albeit somewhat understaffed.”
Unsurprisingly, the requestor and author of The Washington Post article did not publish Supervisor Vega’s reply in his story.
– Coles District Staff