In response to “Is there really an uptick in carjackings, or is Hopkins trying to promote the private police force?” published on October 22, 2020:
While I appreciate and encourage your interest in safety issues around campus, I find your editorial to be based on unfounded conjecture, insulting to victims and belittling of the trauma that they have experienced.
Yes, carjackings increased in the Northern District by 55%, year-to-date, and they are up citywide 28% in the 28 day period, as is documented in the publicly available data from the Baltimore Police at OpenBaltimore.org. Additionally, it is important to know that carjackings have increased nationwide and have been tied to the increase in food and package delivery vehicles supporting people who are at home due to COVID-19, as noted in a recent article from the Pew Charitable Trusts.
At Johns Hopkins Security, our goal in all of our emergency communications is to make the campus community aware of an incident or ongoing threat in hopes that the information prevents them from becoming a victim themselves. We make great efforts to let our community know when to avoid a potentially dangerous situation and to educate them on what to do to prevent a crime from happening, and what to do if they do become a victim.
If a dangerous situation or threat has the potential to impact our campus area, we will send an informational alert. If someone feels inundated or needlessly notified, they always have the ability to unsubscribe from our system, although I strongly recommend they do not. I feel that the information we provide is timely, accurate and helpful.
It should go without saying that any fabrication or manipulation of criminal activity in our communications and reports — either to maximize or minimize it — would be unethical, unprofessional and counterproductive, as we along with everyone strive for a safe and secure environment where students, faculty, staff and the greater community do not have to worry about crime.
Finally, I do not appreciate your comic depiction of the administration supposedly manufacturing a story about someone being “pantsed.” We responded to this incident just as we would a sexual assault. I can assure you there is nothing funny about having your pants forcefully pulled down in a public space or the humiliation that could be associated with it. I truly hope that the victim of this incident did not see the cartoon.
Johns Hopkins Security will continue to hold itself to a high standard for ensuring the community is aware of potential threats, and I hope that The News-Letter will consider partnering with us in these efforts.
Connor Scott, Interim Vice President for Security