UPPER MARLBORO, Md., May 3 (UPI) -- Fourteen suburban Washington police officers have returned to duty, though reviews of shootings in which they were involved are incomplete, officials say.
The 14 officers represent nearly half of the 31 Prince George's County, Md., Police Department members who had been sidelined from active duty while being investigated for shooting at suspects, The Washington Post reported Sunday.
A department spokesman said Police Chief Roberto Hylton cleared the officers to return to duty as the county struggled under a backlog of work.
"Chief Hylton decided that in the interest of maintaining proper staffing levels, this was one area where officers were being kept away from their duties unnecessarily," Maj. Andy Ellis told the Post. "He has not scrapped the (internal) process, but he is re-evaluating the way it will work going forward."
The newspaper said Prince George's County is alone in the Washington region in not moving quickly to reinstate officers involved in shootings deemed to be justified, with more than 100 such officers taken off patrol for months at a time since 2004 while being paid more than $1 million.
None of the police shootings in that time were deemed to be unjustified, the Post said.
As of 2008, the department had an authorized strength of 1,420 sworn officers and 263 civilians, Wikipedia.org said.