Public safety

Seven nominated to join Johns Hopkins University Police Accountability Board

The board will play a key role in helping to shape the development and operation of the Johns Hopkins Police Department

The university issued a call for applications in September to fill seven vacancies for Johns Hopkins students, faculty, and staff members on the Johns Hopkins University Police Accountability Board, with new members set to begin serving on June 1. Non-student members of the Accountability Board serve for two years, while student members serve for one year and must be enrolled for the duration of their term.

The board is responsible for sharing community feedback directly with the Johns Hopkins Police Department (JHPD) leadership, reviewing police department metrics, and providing recommendations on current and prospective department policies, procedures, and training.

An eight-member nominating committee led by non-voting chair Calvin L. Smith Jr., former president of the university's Black Faculty and Staff Association (BFSA) and director of Student Leadership and Involvement, reviewed and evaluated the applications with names removed from the materials so the process was anonymous. The committee made recommendations to university leadership, which made the final selections.

At the close of the application process on Oct. 16, the committee had received 25 completed applications. One of the seven nominees is a returning board member—Kamaria S. Hill, who is pursuing a master's degree at the Carey Business School.

The following nominees will be sent to the Maryland State Senate for confirmation during the 2024 legislative session of the General Assembly, which began in January:

Faculty nominee:

  • Panagis Galiatsatos, Pulmonary Division, School of Medicine

Staff nominees:

  • Jerrell Bratcher, Communications, University Administration and BFSA President
  • Laura Rossi, Director of Human Resources, Peabody

Student nominees:

  • Kamaria S. Hill, Masters Student, Carey Business School
  • Ateeb Ahmad Parray, Graduate Student, Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • Freud-Williams Maignan, Undergraduate Student, Krieger School of Arts and Sciences
  • Chyna Sinclair, Undergraduate Student, Krieger School of Arts and Sciences

"I want to extend my sincere thanks and appreciation to the members of the nominating committee for their thoughtful review and evaluation of each application for the JH Accountability Board," Smith said. "The nominating committee's work is of critical importance, primarily as the JH Accountability Board works alongside the JHPD—from developing policies to recruiting and hiring officers—and the board's role will help ensure that the JHPD serves the community equitably and with transparency."

Created by the Community Safety and Strengthening Act in 2019, the 15-member Accountability Board is made up of three community members unaffiliated with the university and 10 JHU students, faculty members, and staff—including at least one member of the university's BFSA—drawn from across the three campuses where the future JHPD will operate: East Baltimore, Homewood, and Peabody. The remaining two seats are appointed by Baltimore's Mayor and City Council President.

Unique both in Maryland and throughout the country, the Accountability Board was among the recommendations in the Interim Study on Approaches to Improving Public Safety on and around Johns Hopkins campuses and is designed to empower the Johns Hopkins community and its neighbors to help shape the development and operation of the JHPD.

The current Accountability Board met 12 times in 2023, including its new member orientation on June 30 and annual public meeting on Oct. 26, which focused on community feedback on the first tranche of JHPD draft policies, which were published on Sept. 21.

Branville Bard, Johns Hopkins' vice president for public safety, shared that "the community's invaluable policy feedback will help ensure that the JHPD is a forward-thinking, progressive, and transparent police department that truly serves the best interests of and protects our community."

The Accountability Board must meet at least quarterly and hold at least one public meeting each year to seek input on JHPD policies, procedures, and training from community members of Baltimore City.

More information about the Accountability Board can be found on the Public Safety website, which includes a form for comments and questions.

Clarification: An earlier version of this article used language that made the length of terms served by Accountability Board members unclear. The article has been updated to add clarity.

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Tagged public safety