Significant progress continues to be made for the
enhancement of security at the Homewood campus, an effort
that seeks to put Johns Hopkins at the forefront of campus
In late January, the
President's Office and the Homewood deans funded a
15-point security action plan with an initial $2 million
and expanded a standing task force into a 26-member
Committee on Homewood Safety and Security.
They have now committed an additional $1.9 million to
fund 46 more security cameras, on and adjacent to the
campus, and a new state-of-the-art security communications
center. Also, a new security service provider has been
selected to augment the university's own patrol force.
Since March, the university has operated a high-tech
closed-circuit TV system that alerts operators when it
spots suspicious activity. There are currently 32 cameras
in service, mounted on or near residence halls and other
university-owned buildings. Areas covered on the west side
of North Charles Street, on the Homewood campus proper,
include the freshman quadrangle, the Eisenhower Library and
the Mattin Center. On the east side of the street, in the
neighborhood adjacent to campus, the coverage area runs
from 30th Street north to University Parkway.
Edmund Skrodzki, executive director of safety and security at Homewood,
said the goal of the security plan is to provide
comprehensive and proactive protection to university
affiliates and visitors to the campus.
The 46 new cameras, according to Skrodzki, will
provide "360-degree coverage" of the perimeter of the
campus and boost security at strategic locations, including
the Bradford Apartments, Rogers House Sorority, Seton
Court, Bunting-Meyerhoff Interfaith Center, San Martin
Center garage and Stony Run and Wyman Park Building parking
lots. The installation of the new cameras will begin next
month and be completed by April.
For now, the closed-circuit TV system is set up and
monitored inside the university's Office of Facilities
Management at 3001 Remington Ave. An adjacent space,
located in the Plant Operations Service Center, will become
the permanent full-scale monitoring center, incorporating
the security communications hub that is currently located
in Shriver Hall.
The new security communications center will feature
computer-aided dispatch and record-management systems. The
dispatch system will automate all procedures, providing
officers with directions, contact information and special
details pertaining to the site of the occurrence--noting,
for example, if there are hazardous materials or
special-needs students on the premises. The
record-management system will archive all cases and provide
campus officers with an investigative tool with which to
identify crime patterns.
Design plans for the new center, which will be staffed
around the clock, will be finalized soon. It is expected to
be operational by April.
The benefits of the additional cameras and new
communications center, Skrodzki said, will be to increase
the level of security service and reduce opportunities for
"Our primary mission is to offer proactive security
service through the prudent use of officers and
technology," he said. "These new cameras will enhance our
ability to accomplish this mission."
Effective Jan. 1, AlliedBarton Security Services will
replace the currently contracted Silver Star Security
guards, who now patrol campus and Charles Village and are
stationed at various JHU student housing facilities.
A request for proposal went out in July, and
AlliedBarton emerged as the vendor of choice based on the
company's experience in an academic setting, Skrodzki said,
as the firm is currently contracted by more than 70
universities and colleges, including Harvard, Columbia,
Temple and the University of Pennsylvania. Skrodzki said
AlliedBarton will also be able to provide specific training
for officers responsible for campus patrol, bike patrol and
the security of residential and other university
"University campuses create unique challenges to any
security or public safety provider," he said.
"AlliedBarton's experience and specialized training in a
university setting set them apart from other security
Founded in 1957, AlliedBarton is headquartered in King
of Prussia, Pa., and currently provides security services
for more than 100 Fortune 500 companies.
The homicides of two students in April 2004 and
January 2005 have focused the attention of the Homewood
campus community as never before on issues of safety. Among
other enhancements, additional guards, including off-duty
Baltimore City police officers, have been hired; entrances
to student residences have been made more secure; and
lighting in the surrounding community has been enhanced.
The total increase of manpower for the security force
since January has been 30, which includes the Silver Star
and off-duty police officers.
The university also recently created a bimonthly
Security Meet and Greet forum where members of the Security
Office are available at alternating sites of Levering Hall
and Terrace Court Cafe to address students' comments,
concerns and questions. The first Meet and Greet was held
in September. The next one is at 11:30 a.m. on Dec. 13 at
the Terrace Court Cafe. Campus Security also meets
regularly with members of the Student Council to address
security-related questions and concerns.
The crime rate for assaults, robberies and motor
vehicle thefts from January to November is down from the
same period in 2004.
Skrodzki said that the decline can be attributed to
the implementation of the additional security measures.
"The university is on the right track and headed in a
very positive direction in terms of security," he said.
"But it doesn't end here. We will continue to make
adjustments as necessary to further enhance our