Prince George's County Sheriff's Office patch

Police Department Infobox
Name Office of the Sheriff, Prince George's County
Established 1696
Jurisdiction State Agency, via County
Police Officer
Community Service Officer
Police Stations
Airplanes {{{airplanes}}}
Police Boats
Chief of Police
Deputy Chief {{{deputy chief}}}
Sheriff Michael A. Jackson (D)
Under-Sheriff {{{undersheriff}}}
Superintendent (police) {{{superintendent}}}
Additional Commissioner(s) {{{commissioner(s)}}}
Director {{{director}}}
Board of supervisors {{{supervisor(s)}}}
Website {{{website}}}

The Prince George's County Sheriff's Office provides law enforcement services in Prince George's County, Maryland in the United States. Headquartered in Largo, the traditional duty of the Sheriff is as the enforcement arm of the county court. Other law enforcement duties are generally left to the separate Prince George's County Police Department, though some responsibilities are shared.


The Sheriff of Prince George's County is the top law enforcement official of Prince George's County per Maryland common law.[1] All deputy sheriffs are certified, sworn law enforcement officials with full power of arrest as granted by the Constitution of Maryland, the MPCTC, and the Sheriff of Prince George's County.[2]


The Sheriff's Office for Prince George's County was founded April 22, 1696. Thomas Greenfield was appointed the first Sheriff. Charlestown held the headquarters for the Sheriff's Office until the 1720s when it was relocated to the town of Upper Marlboro. It was held there until 2000, when the sitting Sheriff, Al Black, moved it to Largo where it resides as of 2007.

During the War of 1812 the Sheriff's Office was involved in an incident which resulted in the writing of our national anthem. When the British army marched on Washington they passed through Upper Marlboro. The local residents cooperated with the invading army and the British Commander saw to it that no major damage was done to local property. After the Battle of Bladensburg and the burning of Washington, the British army marched back through Upper Marlboro. This time some of the British soldiers looted local farms and were arrested by a Sheriff's Posse. The stragglers were placed in the county jail. When the British commander learned of the arrests of his soldiers, he ordered the arrest of the ringleaders of the posse in turn. One of these was Dr. William Beam who was arrested and held for ransom on a British warship. His brother-in-law, Francis Scott Key went to the British fleet anchored off Baltimore Harbor and witnessed the attack on Fort McHenry. This inspired him to write the Star Spangled Banner.[3]

On August 29 2002, Sgt. James Arnaud and Deputy First Class Elizabeth Magruder were killed in the line of duty while trying to serve an Emergency Petition Service (EPS) to James R. Logan.[4]

On February 16th, 2008 at approximately 3:30 am, a PGSO SST member was shot and critically wounded while serving a warrant as part of a task force with the US Marshals. The suspect, Aaron M. Lowry, was wanted for the shooting of a Washington, DC Police Officer from the day prior. The injured deputy was flown to Baltimore Shock Trauma Center where he had surgery and was upgraded to serious but stable condition. As of April 2008, the deputy continues to recover in hospice.[5]


As of 2008, the Sheriff's Office is headed by Sheriff Michael A. Jackson, presently working on his second term. The agency is also unique among Maryland counties that have both a sheriff and county police. Along with its traditional duties as the enforcement arm of the court, this Sheriff's Office responds to all 9-1-1 calls that are domestic-related in the County's District III, has all of its high schools with deputy sheriffs as the School Resource Officers, and is responsible for traffic enforcement in certain areas of the county.[6]


The Sheriff is elected by the citizens of Prince George's County. The rank structure of the remaining members of the Sheriff's Office is modeled after the U.S. military. The ranks of Student Deputy through Corporal are non-competitive. Sergeant through Captain are competitive. Lt. Colonel (Assistant Sheriff) and Colonel (Chief Assistant Sheriff) are appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the Sheriff.

The PGSO is divided into three bureaus[7]

  • The Bureau of Court Services: is responsible for the safety and security of the Circuit Court in Upper Marlboro, transportation of inmates, and provide assistant security to the District Court in Upper Marlboro and Hyattsville as well as Domestic Violence liaison services.
  • The Bureau of Field Operations: is charged with the direction of the following: Civil/Landlord & Tenant, Domestic Violence Intervention Unit, Warrant/Fugitive Squad, School Resource, and Child Support Enforcement.
  • The Bureau of Administration: contains the Public Information Office (PIO), Recruiting, Training, and Internal Affairs.

Rank structure

The rank structure of the Sheriff's Office is modeled after the US Military. The ranks of Student Deputy through Corporal are non-competitive. Sergeant through Captain are competitive. Lt. Colonel and Colonel are appointed by the Sheriff and serve at the pleasure of the Sheriff.

  • Sheriff: is the commander-in-chief of the Prince George's County Sheriff's Office and is accountable only to the citizens of Prince George's County. The Sheriff's rank is a single silver star. In the event that the Sheriff has committed a crime and must be apprehended, the only person the can place the Sheriff under arrest is the County Coroner.
  • Chief Assistant Sheriff: is the second in command and handles the day-to-day activities of the Sheriff's Office. The Chief Assistant Sheriff's rank is Colonel, symbolized by a silver eagle.
  • Assistant Sheriff: is the third in command and has the responsibility of his/her bureau's day-to-day operations. The Assistant Sheriff's rank is Lieutenant Colonel, symbolized by a silver oak leaf.
  • Deputy Sheriff, Captain: is the fourth in command of his/her section with a rank symbolized by two connected gold bars.
  • Deputy Sheriff, Lieutenant: is the fifth in command and is considered the Division Commander of his/her section with a rank symbolized by a single gold bar.
  • Deputy Sheriff, Sergeant: is considered the Squad Sergeant with a rank symbolized by three chevrons.
  • Deputy Sheriff, Corporal: has a rank symbolized by two chevrons
  • Deputy Sheriff, First Class: has a rank symbolized by one chevron
  • Deputy Sheriff, Private: has a rank symbolized by no chevrons
  • Student Deputy: is the lowest rank held by those attending the Police Academy

Specialized units

  • Specialized Services Team (SST)
  • VIP/Witness Protection Team (VIPER)
  • Civil Disturbance Unit (CDU)
  • K-9
  • Motorcycle Unit
  • D.A.R.E.
  • Hostage Negotiation
  • Homeland Security and Intelligence


The Prince George's County Sheriff's Office uses a fleet of Chevrolet Impalas (2003-present models), as well as some Chevrolet Luminas (1999-2001 model), and Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptors. The transportation unit uses specialized Chevrolet or Dodge vans. The Motorcycle unit uses Police Edition Harley-Davidson motorcycles. The paint scheme of the PGSO marked cruisers are a white base paint with brown striping with the word "SHERIFF" emblazoned on the side. The light bars are the slim Whelen Generation II LED's with Red and Blue colors. The Domestic Violence Intervention Unit has all marked vehicles with Panasonic Toughbook computers assigned to the cars.

Contact Information

Office Of The Sheriff
5303 Chrysler Way
Upper Marlboro
MD 20773
Phone: (301) 780-8600


  1. 2006-2007 Edition Maryland Criminal Laws & Motor Vehicle Handbook with Related Statutes including Legal Guidlines, (c)2006 Gould Publications
  2. Job posting
  3. Lt. Lou Oertly. The Fascinating History of the Office of the Sheriff, 1696-1996. Prince George's County Historical Society's. Retrieved on 2007-12-08.
  4. Ruben Castaneda (June 16, 2007). Judge Declares Mistrial in 2002 Slaying of Two Deputies. The Washington Post. Retrieved on 2007-12-09.
  5. Josh Mitchell (February 16th, 2007). Sheriff's Deputy shot in Laurel while trying to serve warrant. The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved on 2008-02-17.
  6. Prince George's County, Maryland : Home Page
  7. Prince George's County, MD - Office of the Sheriff : Overview

External links

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