September 21, 2023
Dear Johns Hopkins Community:
After consulting extensively with outside experts in progressive policing and benchmarking against the most reform-minded policing policies nationwide, I am pleased to share with you for your review and feedback the draft policies that will ultimately guide day-to-day work of the Johns Hopkins Police Department (JHPD).
These draft policies are based on examples of 21st century best practices in public safety policy. We drew from national guidance on best practices from criminal justice reform efforts, social science research centers, and civil rights organizations, in addition to publicly available policies from higher education institutions in comparable environments and municipal law enforcement agencies that have undergone substantial reform efforts.
Taken together as JHPD’s blueprint for the policy development process, the extensive benchmarking and consultation with experts model our commitment to implementing policies that community advocates have advanced in law enforcement reform efforts across the nation and in doing so, prioritizing equity, transparency, and accountability.
We’re now turning to you, as a member of our community, to help us improve and strengthen these policies further through your feedback.
This first tranche of draft policies has been shared with the JH Accountability Board for its input and is posted on the public safety website for community review. We expect to release the remaining draft policies in the coming weeks. You can comment on the draft policies through the policy feedback form on our website for up to 60 days after policies are posted.
During the 60-day public comment period, we will also host two virtual “Ask the Expert” forums—one session covering progressive policing reform in America, the second discussing draft JHPD policies that are of the most interest to the community. Dates and times of the forums are forthcoming, and I hope you will attend these informative sessions.
At the conclusion of the public comment period, we will be hard at work reviewing and adopting, incorporating, or otherwise reflecting recommended changes and feedback in the final version of policies that are aligned with JHU values and commitments, permissible within legal parameters, and supported by national best practices for community policing and public safety. We will publish the final policies and procedures online, along with a report detailing the community feedback we received.
I strongly encourage you to participate in this important process.
Your invaluable feedback will help us ensure that the JHPD is a forward-thinking, progressive, and transparent police department that truly serves the best interests of and protects our community. I look forward to reviewing your suggestions and always welcome the opportunity for engagement and discussion.
Branville G. Bard Jr.
Vice President for Public Safety