Private OKs Maryland Police force for Johns Hopkins

The Maryland Senate on Thursday gave Johns Hopkins the green light to create an armed police force to patrol its university and hospital campuses in Baltimore.

The vote came 42-2 without any debate. Both votes were against the bill from Jill Carter of Baltimore and Mary Mary Washington, who repeatedly raised concerns about the legislation.

At each stage of the process, Carter and Washington were unable to change the bill, including at a meeting of city senators, a committee of the Seanad and before the full Seanad.

They expressed concern about the privatization of public safety and whether Johnskins' students, faculty and neighbors would have confidence in the Johns Hopkins force.

Johns Hopkins officials requested the legislation as, as a private entity, he is not currently authorized to have a police force. Many of the public universities have police forces, including Morgan State University, Coppin State University and the University of Maryland in Baltimore.

The bill would allow Hopkins to have 100 officers to patrol its academic campus in the Baltimore Homewood neighborhood, Peabody Institute in Mount Vernon and the East Baltimore hospital campus.

The bill also demanded the state to spend millions of dollars every year on community programs. Hopkins would like to set up a Police League venue.

The bill goes to the House of Delegates for consideration. There are peer factors in the House endorsed by the Baltimore delegates and he is awaiting further votes.

pwood@baltsun.com

twitter.com/pwoodreporter

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