What is the Johns Hopkins University Police Accountability Board?
The Johns Hopkins University Police Accountability Board (JH Accountability Board), unique both in Maryland and throughout the country, empowers community members from JHU and the surrounding neighborhoods to help shape the development and operation of the future Johns Hopkins Police Department (JHPD).
The JH Accountability Board originated as one of several university recommendations in the Interim Study on Approaches to Improving Public Safety On and Around Johns Hopkins University Campuses and reflects both community input and research into best practices among police departments nationally.
The Community Safety and Strengthening Act, which passed the Maryland General Assembly during the 2019 legislative session, positions the Accountability Board as a crucial element in ensuring the success, transparency, and accountability of the JHPD. The JH Accountability Board will serve as a key adviser through every step of JHPD implementation. Under the law, JH Accountability Board members are responsible for sharing community concerns directly with department leadership, reviewing police department metrics, and assessing current and prospective department policies, procedures, and trainings in order to provide recommendations for improvement. 
What is the composition of the JH Accountability Board?
The JH Accountability Board reflects the university‘s community of diverse people, ideas, and experiences. This includes diversity not only in affiliation with the University’s schools, campuses, and communities, but also in areas such as race, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, age, and ability. Members of the JH Accountability Board all have significant ties to the Baltimore City Community.
The JH Accountability Board is composed of:
- 5 community members unaffiliated with the University, including at least 1 community representative from each of the three areas in Baltimore where the JHPD may patrol; 
- 10 Johns Hopkins University students, faculty, and staff including at least one member of the JHU Black Faculty and Staff Association.
How are the JH Accountability Board members appointed?
The state law authorizing the JHPD specifies that the mayor of Baltimore City and the city council president each appoint one community member to the JH Accountability Board; JHU leadership nominates the remaining 13 members, including three community members in consultation with the Baltimore City Council. All JHU nominees are subject to confirmation by the Maryland State Senate. [ii]
For its appointments, JHU has established an application process and a nominating committee composed of students, faculty, staff, and Baltimore City community members. To be considered for the 13 JHU-appointed seats, individuals were given the opportunity to submit applications online.
We also welcome nominations of others and will reach out to those nominated to provide application materials.
Additional information about both the JH Accountability Board and the application process can be found here. The dates for the 2024 application cycle are September 12th – October 16, 2023.
How are nominating committee members selected?
Because the JH Accountability Board contains students, faculty, staff, and Baltimore City community members, the university established a nominating committee that has two representatives from each constituency. At least one student on the Student Advisory Committee (SAC) for Public Safety, and the faculty, staff, and community members have all been active and engaged around public safety issues. All have demonstrated their commitment to working with the university to improve the Baltimore City neighborhoods where they live and work and are well-respected advocates and leaders in their communities.
Why does university leadership make the JH Accountability Board appointments?
The Community Safety and Strengthening Act places responsibility for 13 of the 15 JH Accountability Board appointments on Johns Hopkins, subject to confirmation by the Maryland State Senate; the remaining two seats are appointed by the mayor and city council president. We have taken an additional step of convening a separate nominating committee composed of students, faculty, staff, and community members to review applications and select the pool of individuals from which university leadership will make its appointment recommendations.
Why was the JH Accountability Board launched before the establishment of the Johns Hopkins Police Department?
The JH Accountability Board is a crucial element in ensuring the success, transparency, and accountability of the JHPD. Under the law, board members are charged with sharing community concerns directly with department leadership, reviewing police department metrics, and assessing current and prospective department policies, procedures and trainings in order to provide recommendations for improvement.
By launching the effort to form the JH Accountability Board well before our first university police officers are recruited and trained, we are ensuring the board can provide guidance throughout each stage of this multiyear implementation process. Early board involvement will help embed our values and commitments around community-oriented public safety practices from the department’s inception.
How can neighbors, community groups, and other stakeholders engage with the JH Accountability Board?
The JH Accountability Board, which comprises Johns Hopkins students, neighbors, faculty, and staff, is a public channel for accountability and transparency. It is designed to ensure that community voices and perspectives inform the development and operation of the JHPD from its inception, including through:
- Regular public meetings, during which the board will review JHPD metrics around crime and assess and provide recommendations to university leadership around current and prospective department policies, procedures, and trainings.
- Public posting of all board meeting minutes online for public review and comment.
- Annual public meetings to obtain stakeholder feedback.
What is the term length/cycle for the JH Accountability Board members?
The Johns Hopkins Accountability Board (JH Accountability Board) consists of community, faculty, staff, and student representatives. Faculty and staff members, and community members appointed by the University and confirmed by the Maryland State Senate, serve for two-year terms. Student members serve one-year terms, which allows more students, including those in one- and two-year programs, from across the university to participate on the JH Accountability Board.
Additionally, one member is appointed by the Mayor of Baltimore City and another by the President of the Baltimore City Council. Each fall, these members must be reconfirmed by their appointing office, with a maximum of two terms. The current limits are codified in the current bylaws.
The Accountability Board will serve as a key advisor through every stage of JHPD implementation. They will have the opportunity to review and provide feedback on proposed department policies and metrics and share community feedback directly with Dr. Bard and his senior leadership team.
How can I join the JH Accountability Board?
The 2024 application cycle is from September 12th – Oct 16, 2023.
Will the JH Accountability Board be involved in the policy process?
Yes. All draft policies will be shared with the JH Accountability Board prior to the posting for public review and comment. JH Accountability Board members will be invited to share feedback on draft policies in writing and during the Board’s public meetings.
21st Century Policing Solutions (21CP), a consulting firm comprised of seasoned outside experts dedicated to progressive police reform in America, prepared the following questions to help prompt consideration of the draft policies:
- 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 is not currently reflected in the draft?
Additionally, the Community Safety and Strengthening Act mandates that the Accountability Board is permitted and encouraged to review policies and make recommendations at any time.
Where can I find the JH Accountability Board Bylaws?
The JH Accountability Board bylaws can be found here.
FAQs will be updated on an ongoing basis.
[i] Md. Code Ann., Education § 24-1205(c)(2).
[ii] Md. Code Ann., Education § 24-1205(c)(3)-(4).