Prior to 1927, Prince George's County had no organized police force. It was policed by a 200-year-old sheriff/constable law enforcement system that broke down and led to the formation of a four-man County police force. A few years later, in 1931, the Department was reorganized with eleven officers under the command of a police chief appointed by the County Commissioners.
During the twenty-year period between 1930 and 1950, the County's population rapidly expanded to 194,182 residents with 48 officers serving County residents.
During the 1950's and 1960's the Department grew slowly and modernized with a new police station built in Seat Pleasant, the first in the County's history to be built exclusively for police use. In 1961, the first female police officer was hired.
The 1970’s oversaw the Department’s special units created to handle vice, fraud, and juvenile offenses and a new uniform patrol service that included a K-9 unit, a Tactical Squad, and a Traffic Safety Unit. The Department then consisted of 602 officers and 189 civilian employees serving Prince George's County which was Maryland's most populous county at that time.
By 1998, the Department's had 960 officers, 300 civilian support personnel, six district police stations, a headquarters facility, a special operations building, a centralized office for personnel assigned to specialized criminal investigations, and a combined records/communications center. Two new major police facilities were also under construction.
Police work will never be easy. During the Department's 85-year history a total of 24 police officers have made the ultimate sacrifice and given their lives in the line of duty.
Today, the Prince George's County Police Department serves over 900,000 residents and has an authorized strength of 1800 officers and 300 civilians.