Lawmakers to consider new police department for JHU

Two sexual assaults recently reported on campus
Posted at 5:21 PM, Mar 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-12 17:28:43-04

On the Johns Hopkins University campus, two allegations of sexual assault.

RELATED: 2nd sexual assault reported on Hopkins campus

Both incidents were reported recently but Johns Hopkins says one incident happened at a fraternity house off campus earlier this month and the other in a residence hall in early February.

The university says it has identified both the victims and the accused in these cases and are investigating according to university policy.

In a statement released this weekend, a spokesperson said “We respond rapidly to reports of sexual assault. We work to investigate and resolve complaints promptly, fairly, equitably, impartially and in compliance with the law.”

But now the university would like to go even further in cases like these, the power to charge and arrest if needed.

"You're talking about creating a new police force,” Delegate Cheryl Glenn said, “A new one."

Glenn, a Baltimore City Democrat is sponsoring a bill in Annapolis that would let Johns Hopkins and other independent institutions of higher education create its own police force.

It was introduced late in the session, just last week.

She says while she is the sponsor of the bill, she has reservations along with students who protested the idea as well.

There are details of accountability to hammer out, how a new police force would fit into the current consent decree the city has with the Department of Justice and the consideration of public input.

"I understand their need for additional security, they recruit students from all around the world and I know that they want a safer environment on their campus,” the Delegate said.

But the delegate thinks passing this legislation now is too soon and would like to also study how it works in other large urban campuses who already have their own force.

This bill is scheduled for a hearing later this week but Glenn says it is more likely the bill will need another session or two before odds increase that it passes.

Currently, the bill is scheduled for hearings on Thursday and Friday of this week.

Glenn says even though her name is on this bill, she feels Baltimore needs to straighten out its city police department before creating another.

Johns Hopkins University had no comment on the pending legislation.