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Police, city institutions meet to discuss emergency plans

University of Md., Coppin, Morgan among institutions set to coordinate with city police

By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun

7:45 PM EDT, September 21, 2010

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In the wake of a shooting and standoff at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III met Tuesday with security officials from the city's major institutions to discuss integrating their emergency response plans.

Nine institutions took part in the meeting, including Coppin State University, Loyola University, Morgan State University and the University of Maryland. All have security plans, but officials decided that more work needs to be done to ensure better communication with city officers.

"We decided that we need to do a better job of meeting with these groups," said Anthony Guglielmi, the department's chief spokesman. "We don't think we're all on the same page, and if something like this were to happen at another institution, we want to be sure everyone is speaking the same language."

On Thursday, police responded to what was believed to be a barricade situation with a 50-year-old Virginia man inside an eighth-floor hospital room. A nearly three-hour wait followed, with police eventually sending in a robot with a video camera that showed Paul Warren Pardus had killed himself and his mother.

But there were initial fears that Pardus was loose inside the sprawling hospital amid thousands of employees and visitors. In addition to Baltimore police and Hopkins security, the FBI was called in and the Maryland State Police were placed on standby.

"[Bealefeld] is very pleased with the response of Hopkins and the BPD, but we're using it as an opportunity to figure out — if this happens again — what could we do better," Guglielmi said.

Police said they will work to make sure responders are using the compatible communications equipment and have similar training. The department also plans to work with schools and hospitals to practice evacuations.

On Tuesday, search warrants were executed at Pardus' Arlington home, with detectives looking for any clues that might have indicated his mental state in the days leading up to the shooting. Pardus shot himself and his mother, Jean Davis, after becoming upset at news of Davis' medical condition.

justin.fenton@baltsun.com


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