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Lawmakers push for Johns Hopkins police force

Posted at 8:12 PM, Feb 22, 2019

BALTIMORE, Md. — With violent crime remaining at a high level in Baltimore City, officials are looking for ways to improve policing.

Currently, off duty Baltimore City police and sheriff's deputies patrol Johns Hopkins University and hospital campuses.

"Right now we have an intolerable crime rate," said Tony Anderson, Board of Trustees for Johns Hopkins."What we are looking for is designing a comprehensive security force that covers all aspects."

Some law makers are trying to help Hopkins create its own private police force as every other college in Maryland has its own police force. Having a self contained law enforcement presence for Hopkins would make more Baltimore City police available to patrol the city.

But not everybody is on board with a dedicated Hopkins police force.

"People will not be able to trust the hospital they are going to if that hospital also has the power and opportunity to arrest them or racial profile and harm them," said Laura Pugh, student.

Pointing to a recent $1 billion donation, Senate President Mike Miller feels funding a police department should not be a problem.

Some students feel that new police department would not be good for campus.

"The spike in crime in Baltimore City it seems starts in 2015 it seems, which aligns with Freddie Gray. To me I interpret that data as saying that spike in crime is due to a mistrust in policing," said Jack Gatti.

Jackson Gilman-Forlini lives in the Abel neighborhood near campus.

"Other universities have police forces but, those are state universities. There's a big difference between a state entity having a police force and a private institution with no accountability to tax paying citizens," said Forlini.

"The comments you are hearing are based on existing or imagined police forces, not on the basis on the this new police force we are attempting to design," said Anderson.