Within the past week, the Arundel Mills area once again became the epicenter for armed robbers. Sadly, it's an all too familiar scene in Western Anne Arundel County. In response to rash a recent robberies, County Executive John Leopold has initiated a "Police Division of Community Relations" at Arundel Mills. In reality, such a display provides little more than a dog and pony show. Simply put, there aren't enough resources in Anne Arundel County to provide a police officer to properly supervise every square inch of Arundel Mills Mall.
Besides, police can arrest violent criminals all day long. If the State's Attorney and Judiciary don't take these matters seriously, all efforts to apprehend suspects become fruitless. Just this week, Rashad Edward Quarles, of Prince Georges County, allegedly used a firearm to rob a man of his wallet. Luckily, Quarles remained in the Arundel Mills area and eventually found himself under arrest. As of today, Quarles has been charged with charged with robbery, armed robbery, use of a handgun in the commission of a felony, theft under $500, reckless endangerment, first-degree assault and second-degree assault.
It'll be interesting to see what charges Quarles ultimately ends up being convicted of. All too often, the Prosecutors will plead down the most serious charges. In turn, when a defendant pleads guilty on the less serious count, judges such as Pam North or William Mulford will usually impose a grossly inadequate sentence.
If the State's Attorney and Judges were serious about protecting our community, both would strive to ensure convicts receive the maximum sentence possible. After all, both entities are elected. Hence, their loyalty should lie with the law abiding voters, not some defense counsel they may have went to law school with.
By the same token, our County Executive should use his semi-weekly Guest Column in the Capital to call attention to Judges and State's Attorney's that allow serious crimes to be brushed under the rug. Such an effort on his part would show he's committed to giving more than his usual lip service to a serious epidemic.
Going forward, I pledge to better expose the wrongs being perpetrated upon innocent victims. It's time to hold people accountable for crime, including those responsible for pursuing and dispensing justice.