Maryland Senate OKs armed police force for Johns Hopkins

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — The Maryland Senate has voted to allow Johns Hopkins University to create its own armed police force.

The Senate voted 43-2 for the bill Thursday, sending it to the House. It would allow the private institution to have 100 police officers at its academic and hospital campuses in Baltimore.

The bill has stirred debate between those who want to boost campus safety amid Baltimore’s struggles against violent crime and those who fear police profiling.

Armed police forces on U.S. campuses are increasingly common. A 2015 U.S. Justice Department report noted about 75 percent of the country’s four-year colleges and universities with more than 2,500 students were using armed officers.

Supporters include Gov. Larry Hogan, Democratic U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings and billionaire alumnus Michael Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor.

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