The University of Baltimore has entered into a non-binding arrangement with the University of Maryland, Baltimore for the latter to provide police services while UBalt maintains responsibility for campus security performed by unarmed, civilian security staff. This affiliation, which will continue to provide the high level of campus safety that both UBalt and UMB are known for, will be fully in effect in the first quarter of 2022. All UBalt sworn officers will be eligible to apply for similar positions with the UMB force, and the usual police presence and patrols will continue on both campuses.
The following questions have been posed by members of the UBalt community, as well as our colleagues at UMB. Check back here for updates to the FAQs as more details about the collaboration are announced.
How was the UBalt Police Department staff notified about this? Was this effort discussed in University governance before now? This seems like it could hurt morale.
Members of the UBalt police department and their union representatives were the first officials to receive a communication about the collaboration. The campus was notified soon thereafter, in order to provide information and avoid rumors. UBalt police leadership and the Office of Human Resources, along with UMB police leadership, met with UBalt members throughout the day and week to share information and respond to questions. UBalt officers were invited to the UMB campus to meet with police staff there and directly ask questions.
UBalt employees have been encouraged to apply for positions at UMB. Police officers who join UMB will be assigned to the UBalt campus and will report to work directly at UBalt. They requested and were granted the opportunity to continue with their current shifts. Although UMB will only need to increase their dispatcher staff by one position as a result of this collaboration, UMB has held two existing dispatch positions vacant in order to have spots for all three UBalt officers to apply, if they are interested. Because UMB is part of USM, benefits will continue for UBalt officers who join UMB.
The policing collaboration was discussed with the University Staff Senate at their meeting on Oct. 11, 2021.
The announcement made in early October was designed to communicate the intent of the two university presidents to collaborate on policing services. Discussions on campus are ongoing about the particulars. The target date for implementation is during the first quarter of calendar year 2022.
What will be different for the UBalt community once the agreement takes effect?
Everyday life on The University of Baltimore campus will not change much. Some familiar faces from the UBalt Police Department will continue in the same role. They will wear UMB police uniforms, and they will patrol the campus in UMB police vehicles. The way they provide safety and security for the campus community will be the same. Their visibility in UBalt buildings and on the streets and sidewalks that make up our campus will continue. The way the community contacts the police is not expected to change considerably. We will inform the campus, in multiple ways, when we have all of the contact information ready to publicize.
Will UMB police take time away from the UMB campus to patrol the UBalt campus?
No. The UMB Police Department will expand, adding the officers we need to provide the high level of safety the UBalt community now enjoys. Currently, UBalt police officers will be encouraged to apply for these positions, and we look forward to maintaining a high level of police experience and knowledge of the community.
Will UMB police extend the Safe Walk/Safe Ride service to UBalt?
There are no plans at this time to extend that service. Should UBalt leadership be interested in considering this additional service, we would be happy to explore it.
Will UBalt students have access to Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) trainings on UBalt's campus, rather than having to travel to UMB? Will there be the opportunity for access to additional resources UMB currently has, such as Narcan trainings or other health-based trainings such as first aid, CPR, etc.?
UBalt is assessing the potential for enhancing these training resources via the collaboration. RAD training is pending discussion.
What will happen with UBalt's civilian security guards?
UBalt’s unarmed security guards will not be impacted by this collaboration. They will continue to be managed directly by UBalt leadership.
What is the estimated response time to UBalt? How will alarms and panic buttons operate? Who will receive the call when someone pushes the panic button?
Response time for emergencies should be the same as present because the police officer who responds will already be on patrol on the UBalt campus, same as the current arrangement. Alarms and panic buttons are being transitioned to signal at the UMB Police Communications station when the policing collaboration is implemented.
Will there be a protocol on who to call for emergencies and other police matters? What will the phone number be to call campus police?
Yes. The relevant phone numbers will be published to the UBalt campus community.
If the response time is slow, can I call 911?
The response time is expected to be the same as the current response time. However, an individual can call 911 for any emergency, now or in the future.
Are two police officers on and near UBalt's campus at any given time enough as we continue to increase the numbers of people on campus? How many officers will be on campus daily?
The planned staffing levels for police and security staff are appropriate for the campus. Two police officers will patrol per shift, seven days a week, 365 days a year. In addition, the UMB Police Liaison position, a lieutenant, will typically be on campus during day shift. Supplementing this standard police staffing will be a civilian Campus Safety and Security Coordinator, plus several Security Ambassadors who will patrol on all shifts and monitor building entrances as determined. This police and civilian staffing will be evaluated periodically, and adjustments will be made as warranted for campus safety.
Will a Security Ambassador be assigned in the Student Center?
The Security Ambassador program will continue and will be upgraded. We are actively recruiting to increase staffing levels of Security Ambassadors. The staffing plan calls for the Student Center to be staffed with a Security Ambassador.
What type of training will the civilian force receive to ensure safety but also positive interactions with the community?
The UBalt Campus Safety and Security Coordinator will establish a professional training program for new hires and existing Security Ambassadors. This training program will reinforce the customer service model that equals or improves on UBalt's current levels.
Will this change in police structure result in some type of partnership or program with the Baltimore Police Academy that the campus is not currently aware of?
No change is anticipated relative to the Baltimore Police Academy. The Police Academy will continue its current arrangements with UBalt.
What will this mean for Emergency Operations Procedures (EOP) that are currently in place? Will they change, who will be responsible for updating and ensuring they are being followed appropriately? How will the emergency management plan be communicated to campus and be made a priority including the introduction of table tops for senior administration?
UBalt will continue to manage the EOP. UBalt will establish a Campus Safety and Security Coordinator position that will be the lead civilian position with overall responsibility for campus safety and security. The coordinator will work in close collaboration with the UMB Police Liaison to UBalt. The coordinator will be responsible for maintaining and communicating the EOP and will chair the Emergency Management Team. The procedures in the EOP will be updated to reflect UMB as the responsible police department. The UBalt Campus Safety and Security Coordinator, in collaboration with the UMB Police Liaison for UBalt, will be responsible for conducting tabletop exercises.
Who will serve as the primary go-to for issues related to safety on UBalt's campus? There are offices, like the Office of Student Support, with strong relationships with the University's existing Police Department given their function. How will such relationship be established and maintained through the proposed structure? Will major stakeholders have the opportunity to meet with the UMB police leadership prior to the shift to discuss the impact of the change and reporting of incidents or concerns? It would be helpful for the representatives from both campuses to meet on a consistent basis to discuss needs and assess the effectiveness of the new structure.
As referenced elsewhere, UBalt will be establishing a new position, the Campus Safety and Security Coordinator, who will have overall responsibility for campus safety and security issues. The coordinator and the UMB Police Liaison for UBalt work very closely together.
While the coordinator will have overall responsibility for campus safety and security, the liaison will serve as the contact for issues related to policing services on UBalt's campus. The coordinator and the liaison will work closely with UBalt departments to maintain existing services levels and professional relationships.
There will be opportunities for the campus community to meet with UMB police leadership. The new structure will be assessed on a regular basis to measure effectiveness.
It would be useful to have a clear process that UBalt offices and individuals could follow to report and issues that are being experienced under the new policing collaboration.
The process for communicating issues and incidents will be documented and conveyed to the UBalt campus community prior to implementation.
If there is a policy violation by a UMB officer that necessitates an HR-based investigation, which campus will take lead and what kind of reciprocal relationship will be put in place to ensure proper communication and support for those involved?
Procedures for addressing this potential situation are under development.
Who will forward police reports regarding potential Student Conduct matters? Will there be any delay in information reaching the relevant offices from the police?
The UMB Police Liaison for UBalt will be the point of contact for police report requests, thereby maintaining continuity. Service levels are expected to be maintained with no delay of information.
Granted that weather-related decisions about campus closings and delays still fall to the President and Provost; what police force representative will weigh in?
The Campus Safety and Security Coordinator with support from UMB Police Liaison at UBalt will confer with the President and Provost regarding weather-related decisions.
Is there the likelihood that open UBPD positions will be cut? Where will the police (dispatcher, officers) be located on UBalt's campus?
All the current UBPD police officers and communications officers have been encouraged to apply for positions at UMB. UBPD officers who join UMB will be assigned to the UBalt campus patrols. Upon implementation of the collaboration, UBalt will no longer have police officer or communications officer positions.
The UMB Police Officers assigned to UBalt will continue to have office space in the Charles Royal building on campus, along with the Security Ambassadors. Communications officers (dispatchers) will be located at UMB.
How will any UMB officers assigned to UBalt interact with students? UBalt's student profile differs from UMB. How will that be addressed relative to the officers?
Most of the current UBalt officers will be joining the UMB Police Department and will be assigned to patrol at UBalt. These officers currently interact with UBalt students daily. New officers hired by UMB and assigned to UBalt will be onboarded and oriented to UBalt by the UMB Police Liaison for UBalt and the Campus Safety and Security Coordinator.
The Office of Student Support holds bi-weekly meetings with UBPD. How will the change in structure impact these meetings? Who will participate?
Initially, both the UMB Police Liaison for UBalt and the Campus Safety and Security Coordinator will participate in these bi-weekly meetings. Over time, this will be assessed, and the participation may be both, alternating, or one of the two depending on the most effective arrangement.
Who will participate as part of UBalt's CARE Team (Behavioral Intervention Team)? What connection will be established with Bias Experience Support Team (BEST) Membership?
The UMB Police Liaison for UBalt will participate as part of UBalt's CARE team. The UMB Police Officers assigned to UBalt will establish a connection to BEST.
Will officers still be available to support large campus events like Commencement, New Student Orientation, etc.? What will be the process to request this support?
Yes. UMB Police Officers assigned to UBalt will support large campus events. The request process will be communicated prior to implementation.
What was the cost benefit analysis for this initiative? Put another way, everyone seems to assume it saves money somehow, so … how much? Is that why the collaboration was started? Were there other considerations?
The collaboration between The University of Baltimore and the University of Maryland, Baltimore is an alternative way of providing police services to the UBalt campus. Service standards are expected to be maintained or increase by continuing police patrols, presence, and emergency response at UBalt. These services will be provided by UMB's larger University police department.
UBalt will compensate UMB for the incremental costs that they incur in providing policing services to UBalt. Administrative time and costs at UBalt will be reduced. This collaboration is consistent with innovating in how we operate while making best use of resources.
-The size and activity of the UBalt campus does not necessitate a separately operated police department to maintain a safe environment.
-Police patrols, presence, and emergency response will continue via an accredited university police department, i.e., UMB. Sworn, trained police officers will be assigned directly to the UBalt campus at levels that maintain or enhance safety.
-UBalt officers who are hired by UMB will be assigned to UBalt. A larger police department offers heightened back-up and flexibility if needed.
-UBalt will avoid duplicative requirements of operating a separate accredited police department, thereby avoiding administrative requirements and costs including formal accreditation, recurring audits, firearms management, officer training, and the management time and expertise to directly oversee risks and responsibilities.
-UBalt will gain efficiencies by collaborating with UMB. Savings will be realized primarily through the reduction in administrative/management positions. UBalt will not have or fund typical administrative police positions, e.g., police chief, captain, accreditation officer, or sergeants; the number of UBalt-funded dispatchers will be reduced.
-This initiative is consistent with the objective of seeking effectiveness and efficiencies and reducing administrative costs. Although several hundred thousand dollars in annual cost savings are anticipated, the benefits would be worthwhile even if cost savings were not realized.
What will this new arrangement cost UMB?
UBalt will continue to be financially responsible for police patrols of the UBalt campus.
How much of a cost savings is there with the collaboration?
Because the arrangements are not finalized, the cost savings is not yet determined.
Will there be a budget impact to units due to the new partnership?
Current practices will be continued relative to the business units.