Johns Hopkins Invites Public to Comment on Draft Police Force Policies
Johns Hopkins is inviting students, faculty, staff, and the community to review the policies that are being considered for its new police force.
Johns Hopkins University is taking steps to create its own private police force on three of its campuses. On Thursday it invited students, faculty, staff, and the community to submit comments about the proposed department. They have 60 days to comment.
The draft policies cover the proposed police force’s mission, ethics, rules of conduct, “Fair and Impartial Policing,” how it will interact with the LGBTQ+ community, procedural justice, the observation and recording of police services, and the duty to intervene. Currently, the new police force has 47 policies with more to be released in the future, reports WBALTV.
By this winter, officers will begin to receive training so they’ll be able to patrol Johns Hopkins’ Homewood academic campus, the medical campus in East Baltimore, and the Peabody Institute conservatory in Mount Vernon, reports the Baltimore Sun. The department’s jurisdictions would include garages, sidewalks, and streets within those campus boundaries.
Officers will be trained on de-escalation, use of force, traffic enforcement, and other topics.
“These draft policies are based on examples of 21st century best practices in public safety policy,” the school said. “In developing the draft policies, Johns Hopkins consulted extensively with outside experts in progressive policing and benchmarked against the most reform-minded policing policies nationwide.”
The school is asking those who want to submit feedback to consider the following:
- Is this policy consistent with the values and needs of the community?
- Does this policy help JHPD safely carry out its stated mission?
- Is this policy understandable? Are there any points that need clarification?
- Is there anything that needs to be addressed in this policy that isn’t currently reflected in the draft?
Last fall, university officials decided to go ahead with plans to create its private, armed police force. At that time, it released a draft of its memorandum of understanding with the Baltimore Police Department.
The move to create its own police force has faced opposition by some members of the community. A group calling itself the “Coalition Against Policing by Hopkins” has filed a lawsuit over the MOU.
However, others say they are supportive of the department, as long as it takes into consideration campus and community concerns and the new officers are carefully trained, reports CBS News.
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