Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire ex-mayor of New York and major donor to Johns Hopkins, talks with reporters at the Maryland State House Tuesday about having an armed police force for the hospital and university. (Pamela Wood, Baltimore Sun video)
The Johns Hopkins University released its own draft Wednesday of a proposed state law that would allow it to establish a campus police force, including measures to address concerns about transparency and accountability by the private institution.
The 14-page draft bill spells out civil rights protections and oversight mechanisms that the university would have to follow if the General Assembly permits the creation of the force.
The document emphasized that the proposed bill could change before a legislator formally introduces it.
Susan Ridge, a Hopkins spokeswoman, said the draft bill would establish a university police department with “more public and community accountability than any other Maryland law enforcement body.”
Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire ex-mayor of New York and benefactor of Johns Hopkins University, says it’s “ridiculous” that the institution doesn’t have an armed police force. Bloomberg spoke to reporters after closed-door meetings at the State House in Annapolis with Democratic lawmakers.
But Students Against Private Police, a campus group, issued a statement saying the draft legislation did not address its concerns. The organization called much of the language in the proposal vague and said the accountability provisions would be ineffective.
Maryland Senate President Mike Miller says he'll push in the 2019 General Assembly session for several law enforcement initiatives in Baltimore, including approving a police force at Johns Hopkins University. Miller says he also wants to help the city hire 500 new police officers.
Johns Hopkins President Ron Daniels has told members of the Baltimore City Council that he expects the university to again seek the power to create its own police force. He says the crime around the Hopkins' campuses is brazen, occurring even during the day and in front of witnesses.
It seeks for the university’s officers to be subject to Baltimore’s civilian review board, an independent body that investigates complaints against police. It also proposes having two civilians sit on the discipline boards the university would be required to convene in some misconduct and brutality cases.