Prince George’s officer awarded for courageous actions -- Gazette.Net


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Cpl. Phillip Foster said he was aiding fellow Prince George’s County police officers in conducting a search warrant in Forestville when the “routine assignment” took a dangerous turn as he was shot in his leg, arm and face, but he remained focused on his mission.

“I remember doing my job like I normally do, hoping it would end. It was looking like it was over, like he was going to give up, but unfortunately he decided otherwise,” said Foster of the shotgun and rifle wielding suspect who was killed in the Nov. 12, 2011 shootout. “The first thing I could think of was my family, but I had a job to do and I completed the job.”

Foster was honored for his efforts Monday during a Prince George’s police department award ceremony that highlighted the work of nearly 130 police officers and residents.

Police Chief Mark Magaw kicked off the ceremony at Prince George’s police headquarters in Palmer Park by saying it’s the everyday work of PDPG officers and exceptional county residents that is making the community safer.

“Officers make courageous acts every day,” Magaw said. “Whatever the incident may be, our officers protect the county every minute of every day.”

Magaw said the officers’ actions are a direct result of positive crime trends as overall violent crime is down 7.3 percent, with homicides down 35.6 percent from 2011.

Magaw also recognized the department’s Citizen Advisory Council, a group of roughly 15 area residents who meet regularly with department officials to discuss ongoing community concerns.

“This group works tirelessly in the department and the sworn staff couldn’t do what they do if it weren’t for them,” he said.

Jalen Farmer, 19, of Seat Pleasant was among a number of county residents given an Outstanding Citizenship award. He was working as a security guard at a day care facility in Landover on April 26 when a man police say was high on PCP came into the center. Police said the man was destroying the lobby area with a baseball bat when Farmer was able to lure him outside even after being struck several times.

“I feel proud that I received the award. I was just doing my job,” Farmer said. “I believe it was just my adrenaline and I acted on what I had to do to try and protect the kids and the rest of the staff in the building.”

County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III (D) attended the ceremony and said the trending statistics are “more than just numbers,” as they account for the number of lives saved and property not taken.

“It’s another great day in Prince George’s County” Baker said. “It is because of your actions, your hard work and dedication.”

Prince George’s police chaplain Edward Harding led the audience in a benediction to pray for the officers’ safety as they respond to incidents.

“We thank you for those who got caught, caught doing something right,” he prayed.

djgross@gazette.net