October 29, 2022
Dear Johns Hopkins Community,
Over the past several months, our community has experienced a disturbing increase in serious violent crimes around our Baltimore campuses. From October 6 to October 27 alone, there were six armed robberies reported on and around the Homewood campus, as well as one near the Peabody campus; two of those were also abductions/attempted abductions. These acts of violence tear at the fabric of our community, and the university is working to support the victims, increase our public safety presence in the area, and assist the Baltimore Police Department in its investigations, which are ongoing.
This week, members of our community were the victims of two especially brazen and disturbing incidents. On Monday night, an affiliate was walking in the 100 block of West University Parkway, within the Homewood campus area, when three assailants armed with handguns forced the affiliate into their vehicle. The subjects then drove the victim to multiple ATMs, and forced the victim to make cash withdrawals before releasing the victim. Thursday morning at 11:10 a.m., the spouse of an affiliate was walking on the footbridge on San Martin Drive, which is on the Homewood campus, when two subjects, one armed with a handgun, demanded the victim’s cell phone and password.
Please see our public safety website for more information and a map of these recent incidents.
Your safety is this institution’s highest priority. We are taking this situation very seriously, and continuing our efforts to obtain as much information as possible on the recent surge of robbery incidents. This includes reviewing security camera footage, interviewing potential witnesses, and participating in daily meetings and intelligence-sharing with Baltimore City Police Department detectives and senior leadership. University officials have also been in close contact with the victims of all of these incidents to support their physical and mental well-being.
In response to these crimes, we immediately altered our public safety deployment to provide an increased presence and focus on the areas that have been most impacted by these incidents. Community members should know about and expect to see an increased visible presence of Johns Hopkins Public Safety, Baltimore City Police, and Allied Universal officers on and around our Homewood campus. These officers will be patrolling both in vehicles and on foot 24-7.
We have also partnered with our university transportation team to increase the capacity for our public safety escorts. Our public safety team will be continuing to deploy technology solutions to support our community, specifically our robust camera network and the LiveSafe application. As a reminder, the LiveSafe application can be used to connect with the university’s 24/7 dispatch center via phone call or text. Anonymous crime tips can also be reported through the app.
In addition to these immediate steps, we continue to move forward with the establishment of the Johns Hopkins Police Department (JHPD), a small, community-oriented police department that will operate on the Homewood, Peabody, and East Baltimore campuses. Once implemented, the JHPD will play a critical role in strengthening our existing public safety organization, reducing our reliance on BPD, and ensuring that we have the resources available to help interrupt clusters of crime in our community. We encourage your participation in the months ahead in discussions about the implementation of the JHPD so that we can ensure the future JHPD is effective in helping to make all members of our community feel safer.
The effects of violence ripple far beyond those who are immediately victimized, and we urge anyone who is experiencing trauma related to this or any other incident to take advantage of our well-being resources for students and Johns Hopkins Employee Assistance Program (JHEAP) for university and medicine faculty and staff. In addition to these wellness resources, the Johns Hopkins Public Safety leadership team is here to support you if you would like to discuss our response to this recent pattern of incidents and what our team is doing to help all members of our community to feel safe.
Please visit the Johns Hopkins Public Safety website for more information about our current resources—including the effort to establish the Johns Hopkins Police Department—as well as safety tips and crime prevention information.
Branville G. Bard
Vice President for Public Safety
Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Medicine