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Police Commander Addresses Germantown Area Crime

While the perception may be that crime in Germantown has increased, the commander of the 5th District in Germantown believes that Germantown is a safe and secure community and the crime statistics back him up.

Captain Mark Plazinski, Commander of the 5th District, addressed about sixty residents at a Public Safety Forum sponsored by the Germantown Alliance on Thursday night. The meeting was held at the UpCounty Regional Services Center in Germantown and came on the heels of a violent and tragic week for Germantown. In which, a 20-year-old man was shot and killed, and the suspect took his own life as police were about to arrest him.

“You guys are here tonight because, ‘Crime is out of control in Germantown,’ right?” asked Plazinski, and many folks in the room agreed. “I disagree. I think by the end of the presentation you might have a better feel of how Germantown, I believe, is a safe and secure community.”

According to the statistics provided by Plazinski, 5th District crimes against people is up 20 percent, crimes against property are down 5.5 percent and crimes against society is up 8 percent. Crimes against society include drug offenses, gambling, and prostitution.

Plazinski said the increase in crimes against people the result of changes in the way the federal government requires crimes to be reported. He said in the past, if one person assaults four people in one incident it would be reported as one assault, but as of July of 2017, the same incident would be reported as four assaults. Now, one person assaults two people it is two assaults, which would have previously been one assault. It is the same crime, but statistically, crime has doubled.

“In the 18 months that I have been the commander of the 5th District, there have been six homicides in the district,” said Plazinski. “A homicide is a tragic event. If you have a homicide in your neighborhood, it is not something you forget. Any time there is a homicide in a neighborhood, it scars that community. Nobody likes to think about a homicide in their neighborhood. Unfortunately, we had one this week,” he said referring to the shooting death of Stephen Frazier shortly after midnight on Tuesday, Oct. 23.

He spoke briefly about the incident, in which the suspect took his own life less than 24 hours later as detectives were about to arrest him. Plazinski said, “One of the theories of this case — and this is still very much under investigation — is that it was an accident. The scene [on Churchill Ridge Circle] didn’t make sense to investigators. It is thought that the two men were practicing with the gun, or taking the gun apart, and the victim was shot accidentally. We’ve received information from the suspect’s friends that he had told them as much; that it was an accident.” Plazinski said that investigators had found no indication that these two men had a disagreement or were fighting, or were involved in an exchange of drugs between them. “It may be accidental, and part of the suicide was the grief of shooting his