Baltimore police investigated a threat in McCoy Hall on April 26. Residents and students were advised to avoid 34th Street between St. Paul Street and N. Charles Street as police investigated a “suspicious package” in the building.
About 30 minutes after the first alert from the University, students were informed that there was no threat and they could resume normal activities.
Vice President for Communications Andrew Green explained why the Baltimore Police Department was called to search the building in an email to The News-Letter.
“Today, Johns Hopkins Public Safety received an unconfirmed threat to the Homewood campus that proved unfounded,” he wrote. “Out of an abundance of caution, JHU worked in coordination with the Baltimore Police department to conduct a thorough search of the area. No threat was found.”
In an email to The News-Letter, freshman Bazel Pilla shared that he felt the University did not provide adequate information, though he understands that the administration did not want to cause panic.
“I would probably prefer if they provided faster communication, as well as more clear communication on what the issue is and what we should do other than ‘avoid the area,’ especially if it's not possible to do that (i.e you already are in the area),” he wrote.
In an email to The News-Letter, freshman Ashley Cortes added that although campus alerts were sent to the students, the alerts were delayed by approximately half an hour.
“I wish we had gotten more information and the information was communicated faster,” she wrote. “[The alerts] were just so vague that I was frustrated because the situation was scary.”
According to her, most of the information regarding the threats and evacuation protocols were communicated between students.
Pilla also expressed frustration with the delayed campus alerts.
“I actually didn't get the first [RAVE alert] when they said there was an issue, only the one saying the issue was dealt with; it was pretty poor communication as I didn't even really receive any to begin with,” he wrote. “I heard from others they got it about 20 minutes after, which seems like at that point is not helpful. I'm hoping from now on the communication can be faster and clearer on the issues occurring.”