Thursday April 20, 2023
Dear Johns Hopkins Community,
When Dr. Branville Bard Jr. joined Johns Hopkins as our vice president for public safety in August 2021, he arrived with an exceptional track record as an effective, community-oriented law enforcement professional and as an outspoken and passionate advocate for social justice, racial equity, and police reform. For the past two years, he has brought those qualities to his successful oversight of public safety operations for all Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Medicine campuses and facilities worldwide.
Today, we are pleased to announce that Dr. Bard will also serve us as the inaugural chief of the Johns Hopkins Police Department.
Dr. Bard is ideally suited to serve in this capacity because of his lifelong dedication to promoting accountable, community-oriented policing. This devotion is evident in the deep relationships he has forged with our students, faculty, staff, and neighbors in Baltimore and his unwavering commitment to working with our community to build a model, accountable, and constitutional public safety organization. He is taking a comprehensive approach to public safety that embraces root cause prevention, innovative responses to behavioral health crises, and community partnerships. During his tenure, Dr. Bard has helped to implement the Innovation Fund for Community Safety, a $6 million fund to support community-driven public safety solutions, and established the Johns Hopkins Behavioral Health Crisis Support Team that pairs clinicians with specially trained security officials to provide in-person assistance to people experiencing behavioral health crises.
Prior to working at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Bard spent 24 years working for his hometown Philadelphia Police Department, where he led the city’s largest police district, and later served as chief of the Philadelphia Housing Authority Police Department. He subsequently served as the police commissioner of Cambridge, Massachusetts—home to six colleges and universities and three hospitals—where he created Cambridge’s procedural justice section, which reviews data relating to police-citizen interactions for indications of biased policing.
Dr. Bard holds both a Doctor of Public Administration and a master’s degree in criminal justice from Valdosta State University, where his dissertation focused on strategies to eliminate racial profiling. He also holds a master’s degree in public safety management from St. Joseph’s University.
We are fortunate for Dr. Bard’s impactful leadership at this important moment for Johns Hopkins and look forward to working with Dr. Bard as we work together to create a comprehensive, progressive, community-oriented, and community-accountable public safety operation that prioritizes your safety, dignity, and well-being.
Ronald J. Daniels
President, Johns Hopkins University
Theodore L. DeWeese
Interim Dean of the Medical Faculty
CEO, Johns Hopkins Medicine
Kevin W. Sowers
President, Johns Hopkins Health System
EVP, Johns Hopkins Medicine