Office of the President

July 12, 2019

The Honorable Bernard C. “Jack” Young
Mayor, City of Baltimore
250 City Hall, 100 N. Holliday Street
Baltimore, MD 21202

Commissioner Michael Harrison

Baltimore City Police Department

601 E. Fayette Street
Baltimore, MD 21202

 

Dear Mayor Young and Commissioner Harrison:

I am writing with a heavy heart this morning – a very heavy heart. Another Morgan student has fallen victim to the senseless violence that has engulfed our city. I have lived in Baltimore for nine years now, and rarely has there been a day where a homicide, or multiple homicides, have not occurred. I have reluctantly concluded that somehow, along the way, the majority of Baltimore’s residents might have tacitly accepted this violence as a fact of life for our city. I do not!

I was so appalled at the crime rate in Baltimore when I arrived as the 10th  President  of Morgan on July 1, 2010, that I commissioned a safety study of our own campus to ascertain what  we could do to ensure the security of the nearly 8,000 students at our  university  –  the  largest student enrollment on one campus in the city. That study has led  us to  invest  millions  into public safety initiatives, including:

  • Maintaining a committed staff of 42 sworn campus police officers;
  • Constructing safety booths along Hillen Road and staffing them with security officers;
  • Overhauling our surveillance system with the installation of more than 1,000 cameras on campus;
  • Upgrading our exterior lighting throughout the campus;
  • Hiring an outside security firm to patrol the campus 24/7;
  • Working with the owner and developer to redevelop the Northwood Shopping Center, which has become a crime haven in our backyard;
  • Providing safety escorts to and from our off-campus apartments;
  • Extending Bear Transit service to late evening hours and providing designated shuttle services to off-campus facilities so our students don’t have to walk at night;
  • Working with off-campus apartment partners (Morgan View and Marble Hall Gardens) to enhance security; and
  • Investing $9.5 million to support the public safety of our campus community, representing nearly 10 percent of our entire state appropriation.

Although those efforts have resulted in positive outcomes on our beloved campus, which has been designated a National Treasure, it seems that the neighborhoods surrounding the campus, where many students live, have not become safer. Within the last couple of years, we have had the lives of at least three students snuffed out in these neighborhoods. This must stop!

Accordingly, I am requesting that we take decisive action and convene a “Safety Summit,” a special meeting with you, me, the leadership of the community associations of the neighborhoods that abut the Morgan campus, and representatives of my leadership team, to discuss a strategy whereby the Baltimore Police Department, working collaboratively with our campus police, can provide greater protections to our entire campus community.

Morgan is an anchor institution in Baltimore that generates an economic impact of nearly a billion dollars yearly to our state – more than half of that in Baltimore City. Our university community desires to be a safe place where the business oflearning and innovation is not under constant attack for fear of safety.

My office stands ready to meet with you urgently. Sincerely,

David Wilson President

Click here to view the press release.

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