Updated Aug. 28, 2020
In June, Johns Hopkins announced the decision to put on hold the establishment of the JHPD for at least two years to allow us to come together as a community during this time of reimagining public safety. We indicated we would not take any further steps toward its establishment during that time period. That was a decision that we didn’t – and still don’t – take lightly, but it was a necessary step, particularly as our community grappled with the grotesque murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police.
Moving forward, we have also decided to pause the Accountability Board in parallel. Because the Board’s purpose and scope of work is statutorily tied to the establishment of the JHPD, continuing its efforts would not be in keeping with our commitment to halt all steps toward creating the department during this time.
In the interim, we hope to take part in the ongoing conversations in our city and in Annapolis about what is possible for our city and country in rethinking the appropriate boundaries and responsibilities of policing, and to draw on the energies, expertise, and efforts of our community in advancing the agenda for consequential and enduring reform. Many of our faculty are already participating in those efforts. Although the Accountability Board will be on a pause, we hope that on an individual basis the members of group will also participate where they can in those efforts that are going on in the City and the State. We want to spend the next two years — with a sense of shared purpose and commitment, with our neighbors, and across our university community— exploring more deeply and continuing to invest in alternative approaches to preventing or interrupting criminal violence so that we reduce to the greatest extent possible our reliance on sworn policing.
Updates about this work will continue to be shared with our community and posted on this website.
Background on the accountability board
The Johns Hopkins University Police Accountability Board, unique both in Maryland and throughout the country, empowers community members from JHU and the surrounding neighborhoods to help directly shape the development and operation of the future Johns Hopkins Police Department (JHPD). Recommended by the University based on community input and research into best practices among police departments nationally and adopted into law by the General Assembly, the Board is a crucial element in ensuring the success of the JHPD.
Accountability Board members are charged with:
- Sharing community feedback directly with JHPD leadership;
- Reviewing JHPD metrics involving crime; and
- Assessing current and prospective department policies, procedures, and training in order to provide recommendations for improvement.[i]
The Accountability Board must meet at least quarterly and hold at least one public meeting each year to seek input on JHPD policies, procedures, and training from community members of Baltimore City. Its meeting minutes must be posted prominently on a website available to the public.