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Johns Hopkins University announces pause in development of university police department for at least two years

Posted at 6:59 PM, Jun 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-12 18:59:37-04

BALTIMORE — Johns Hopkins University has announced that they will be pausing the development of a university police department for at least two years.

The university announced this on Friday via a letter to the community.

"As hundreds of thousands rise in protest here and across the nation, we share the continued anguish and anger at the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, and the unjust loss of so many other Black lives, in the long and grotesque history of systemic racism that has shaped this nation and its institutions," the begin the letter. "This moment of national reckoning implicates all areas of our lives and the work we do together as a learned community. We recognize the ways in which systemic racism impacts unfairly our Black and Brown colleagues, neighbors, students, and staff. We know we must do more as an institution and as individuals to fully realize Johns Hopkins' core commitment to justice, equity, and inclusion, and we are grateful for the many difficult and important conversations that are happening now and that will guide our efforts to listen, to support, and to act."

In the letter they stated that they sought the authorization to build the department due to a surge in violent crime affecting their students, staff and faculty.

They said that they lacked a police department that could help protect them.

Today, we want to speak to the renewed questions and broad concerns about policing in America and the calls to reconsider our decision to create a university police department at Johns Hopkins.

"In seeking this authorization, we embraced without reservation many of the reforms that are now being called for across the country and we hope that legislation can contribute to the wider discussion of the steps needed to realize lawful, nonracist, and publicly accountable sworn policing," the continued.

They state that throughout the process they've been hearing the urgent calls for reconsideration of the way in which public safety in their community is achieved.

RELATED: Thousands sign petition calling on Johns Hopkins University to abandon its plan to create a private police force

"Given the need for us to come together as a community in this enterprise of reimagining public safety, we have decided to pause for at least the next two years the implementation of the JHPD."

The full letter can be read here.