Johns Hopkins releases draft version of memorandum of understanding for private police force

The Johns Hopkins University on Monday released its draft memorandum of understanding between itself and the Baltimore Police Department.

The document, which activists have long wanted released, is a necessary step for the university to field its own private, armed police force. The university will host its first town hall about the memorandum Thursday to discuss details and address questions.


Key takeaways from the draft MOU


The draft outlines the Hopkins police force’s jurisdiction within campus bounds.

According to the MOU, the department’s jurisdiction would be any property that is owned, leased, operated by or under the control of the university, including specific boundaries outlined within its Homewood, East Baltimore and Peabody campuses. That includes public property that is immediately adjacent to the campus, including sidewalks, streets or other thoroughfare and parking facilities, the draft states.


JHPD would be in charge of patrolling the campus areas and serving as first responders to both nonemergency and emergency calls in the jurisdiction areas. The police force will have concurrent jurisdiction of the campus areas with Baltimore Police.

Hopkins police officers will be allowed to exercise their powers off campus only if they are “engaged in fresh pursuit of a suspected offender,” needed to facilitate traffic or requested by the mayor or governor for an emergency.

JHPD officers would have “primary responsibility” for motor vehicle theft cases as well as burglary, theft and breaking and entering. Baltimore Police will have the ability to take over primary investigator responsibility. Baltimore Police may also request JHPD to help with investigations.

“Any crime that requires investigation by BPD’s Crime Lab, Homicide Division, or involves a sex offense will be handled by BPD.”

Additionally, Hopkins police would compensate Baltimore Police for any costs incurred by the MOU.

Body cameras

Hopkins police officers would be required to use body-worn cameras. Officers will give Baltimore Police access to their body camera footage.

Johns Hopkins will be responsible for bodycam program costs.

Arrests and prison transportation

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Hopkins police officers will be required to prepare official police reports when making an arrest.


Officers will be allowed to use Baltimore Police facilities to process prisoners, though Hopkins will be responsible for “its own policies, protocols and funding for prisoner transport for those individuals who JHPD officers have arrested.”

“Arrestees of the JHPD who require medical attention or mental evaluation prior to the booking process shall be transported to a medical facility by the JHPD or Emergency Medical Services, and if required, shall be guarded by the JHPD until released.”

Consent decree

With the Baltimore Police Department, Mayor Brandon Scott and Baltimore City under the federal consent decree, the Johns Hopkins Police Department would also be required to comply. The consent decree means the federal court has jurisdiction over the city’s and BPD’s police reform requirements.


Hopkins will not be allowed to “directly solicit” Baltimore Police officers for its police force during the MOU’s term of seven years.

JHPD would agree to hiring a maximum of five sworn Baltimore Police officers each year. Former BPD officers with six months of separation or more from the department do not count as part of the five maximum officers per year.

Baltimore Sun reporter Lillian Reed contributed to this article.