Johns Hopkins University
johns hopkins

Johns Hopkins University puts plans for armed police force on hold

June 15, 2020
Discussion of plans for the force will be suspended for at least 2 years as the university joins the community in talking about police reform.

Johns Hopkins University officials have delayed for at least two years a plan to establish an armed police force to patrol their three Baltimore campuses.

The Baltimore Sun reports that the delay comes as protests over policing and racial injustice have swept the nation after the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis.

The university’s plan called for deploying as many as 100 sworn officers on its campuses.

Johns Hopkins President Ronald Daniels says school officials decided to freeze everything for at least two years and take part in the discussion over police reform.

“We want to pause and see to what extent changes both at the federal and state level, and in the broad framework of policing and additional accountability, would impact anything that we would do at Hopkins,” Daniels says.

The university has not yet created its police force or hired the officers.

A Hopkins police department has been debated for at least two years. Last year, students locked down the main administrative building in a monthlong sit-in to protest the force and the university’s cooperation with federal immigration authorities.

Students and faculty have said a campus police force would reinforce perceptions of their university as gated off from the city. They worry a private force would bring further disparities for people of color, who statistics show are more likely to be victims of police brutality.

They also contend that private police by definition are less accountable than the Baltimore Police Department. 

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