Dear Johns Hopkins Community,
As I shared with you last month, Johns Hopkins is embarking on the first phase of the implementation of a new university police department. Today we posted on our public safety website an initial draft of the proposed memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Johns Hopkins and the Baltimore Police Department (BPD), which is an important step in the process. I encourage you to review this proposed MOU and to share your input via the online feedback form or at one of three upcoming town hall meetings this month, one on the Homewood campus, one in East Baltimore, and one held virtually.
This proposed MOU is like that of other university police departments in that it documents the way the two police departments will work together. But it is also unique in that it is being shared for public review and feedback, and in that it includes a number of the guardrails and mechanisms of our underlying statute, which ensure that the JHPD lives up to our commitment for building a model of progressive, constitutional, community-oriented, and community-accountable policing.
Importantly, the MOU is just one part of the framework and policies that will govern the eventual JHPD. Others are driven by state law and commitments the university has made, all of which are subject to full transparency and multiple layers of oversight, including by the JH Accountability Board. Information about all aspects of the JHPD will be posted on our website throughout the implementation and into the future.
How You Can Give Your Input on the MOU
You can share your thoughts and feedback online as well as at the upcoming town halls:
- Sept. 22, 6–8 p.m., Homewood Campus, Shriver Hall (livestream available)
- Sept. 29, 7–9 p.m., East Baltimore Campus, Turner Auditorium (livestream available)
- Sept. 30, 1–3 p.m., Virtual town hall (via livestream, fully interactive)
For those who plan to attend in person, please sign up on the public safety website. The town halls are open to students, faculty, staff, neighbors and the general public, and will also be available for livestream viewing on the Johns Hopkins Public Safety Virtual Events page. Recordings will be posted on the public safety website.
Your input and participation are welcome and important parts of the MOU process. The draft posted today will be modified to reflect what we hear and learn from our community over the next couple of months, and the final MOU will be shared back with you and posted online, along with a report summarizing the feedback we receive.
The JHPD presents us with the opportunity and the obligation to build a small, model police department as one part of JHU’s holistic approach to public and community safety, which will continue to include a significant non-police public safety team, behavioral and mental health crisis counselors, and investments in community-driven programs for preventing violence and addressing the root causes of crime.
I hope you can attend one of the upcoming town halls, and I look forward to hearing from you.
Branville Bard Jr.
Vice President for Public Safety
Johns Hopkins University and Medicine