ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — The Maryland Senate passed a bill on Monday allowing Johns Hopkins to created its own armed police force.
The Maryland Senate voted 42-2 to pass the bill Monday night.READ MORE: Jenkins Scores 17 To Lead Stony Brook Over UMBC 65-51
That sends the measure to Gov. Larry Hogan. A spokesman for Hogan said he will likely sign the bill.
The measure has sparked debate between those who want to increase campus safety as Baltimore struggles with violent crime and those who fear police profiling.
Last month, a stray bullet shattered a window on the sixth floor of the Johns Hopkins Hospital Outpatient Cancer Building.
The legislation would allow the private institution to have 100 police officers at its academic and hospital campuses.
“We have experienced violent crime on our Hopkins east Baltimore campus, including the hospital,” Kevin Sowers said. “There were two of our employees in the building at the time the bullet entered the building.”READ MORE: Johns Hopkins Study Suggests Rapid COVID-19 Tests Could Be As Accurate As PCR Tests With Children
Supporters of creating a police force have included billionaire alumnus Michael Bloomberg and Democratic U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings.
“It adds 100 additional police officers paid for by Johns Hopkins, not by Baltimore City,” Mike Miller, Senate President, said.
Mary Washington and Jill Carter were the only two votes in opposition.
“I think it’s critical that we have to do oversight,” Carter said. “We lost the battle. They got the police force. I still think it’s a terrible precedent, and now we have to make sure we’re responsible with oversight.”
In a statement, Johns Hopkins said:
“We belive in the end that this legislation reflects an approach to university and community safety that we can be proud of at Johns Hopkins and in Baltimore, setting a standard as the most comprehensive set of university policing requirements anywhere.”
The bill would take effect July 1, 2019, if Gov. Hogan signs it.MORE NEWS: Over 20 Displaced After Fire At Reisterstown Apartment Building