Police Interaction

By now you have probably noticed that the area surrounding our campus is patrolled by police and security officers from multiple organizations. Our own Campus Safety and Security has officers assigned to patrol in the Charles Village area neighborhoods around the clock. The university also deploys Allied Barton security officers to walk, bike and drive in highly visible uniforms throughout the area. We hire off-duty city police officers to patrol, in uniform, along the Charles Street/Charles Village corridor and along University Parkway.

The Community Safety officers of the Charles Village Community Benefits District also patrol in our area. You may have even seen the Union Memorial Hospital’s security team patrolling in the area of the hospital. All of these organizations help supplement the patrols of the Baltimore City’s Northern District officers. All of these officers are here to help protect us and our belongings and to enforce the laws of the state of Maryland.

Many of our students will spend their time at Johns Hopkins without much personal interaction with these various law enforcement officers. Occasionally, however, some of you will either need to call an officer for assistance or even find yourselves on the wrong end of an interaction with a police officer. Remember, police officers cannot pick and choose which calls they respond to. Here are some of the more common charges that some students have found themselves in trouble over:

  • Public intoxication
  • Open alcoholic beverage
  • Underage drinking
  • Urinating in public
  • Failure to obey the lawful order of a police officer
  • Destruction of property
  • Disturbing the peace

Getting arrested while in college can be very detrimental to both your college career and your future employment. Keep in mind that many employers perform extensive background checks before hiring, and an arrest always leaves a paper trail. The university also expects you to abide by the laws of the state of Maryland and failure to do so will result in a conduct code violation. Not to mention, the time and expense of a sudden journey through the criminal justice system (including a stay in Central Booking).

Tips for Interacting with Police

  • Do exactly what they say, when they say it. Failure to do so will only increase your chances of risking further involvement.
  • Be courteous. Arguing with an officer or being disrespectful won’t help your situation. Remaining calm and polite will benefit everyone, especially you.
  • Be quiet. Honestly, the less said, the better off you will be.

In our experience, most of the students who are arrested talked themselves right into a pair of handcuffs. Few people enjoy being ordered to do anything, but getting yourself arrested rarely proves a point. How you choose to behave during critical times will have a lasting effect on the rest of your life.