One Company, Two Campuses; the gap between Morgan and Hopkins security

The murder of Allied officer, Julian Fruh, has loomed over Morgan’s since his passing on Aug. 31. Now questions are being asked about how Allied Universal equips their officers.


Jordan D. Brown

Though faced more frequently with violence, Morgan stationed officers have said that they are only given a clipboard to note what occurs on their shift while their counterparts at Johns Hopkins have access to radio systems.

Alex Ederson, Contributing Writer

***All Allied Universal officers quoted throughout the story have been granted anonymity by The Spokesman out of the officers’ fears of losing their jobs.

Julian Fruh, an Allied Universal security officer, was tragically murdered away on Aug. 31 while posted at Marble Hall. 

His death and the recent Homecoming shooting have reignited campus wide concerns over the of preparedness on-campus security, employed by Allied Universal.

Allied Universal is the largest provider of security services in the nation, providing services to malls, college campuses and events. 

Morgan State and Johns Hopkins Universities are two entities that have continually contracted with the company in Baltimore City and are located roughly two miles from each other.

Sherita Coffelt, vice president of Allied Universal communications –North America, said,“Our training program, which exceeds all state requirements, is the same for both locations, aside from the site specifics.”

However, officers stationed near Morgan said that they feel drastically less prepared and equipped than officers stationed at Johns Hopkins despite Morgan officers being stationed in more dangerous areas.

According to the Baltimore Police Department Crime Map, there have been around 80 violent crimes around Morgan and only three violent crimes near Hopkins over the past year. Violent crime include sexual assault, robbery, and murder according to the National Institute of Justice.

Though faced more frequently with violence, Morgan stationed officers have said that they are only given a clipboard to note what occurs on their shift while their counterparts at Johns Hopkins have access to radio systems in case of emergency.

“We don’t have any walkie-talkies…we don’t have anything,” said one Allied security officer.

Many guards at Morgan insist that if they were given either radios, flashlights, or something more than just a clipboard then they would feel better about their postings

Marble Hall Gardens, an off-campus housing complex for Morgan students, is a common post for Allied officers. However, the seven-court layout of the complex has added insult to injury for many officers.

Posted in isolated areas and without radios, officers at Marble feel that they are prime targets to be “ “robbed, beaten up, and now shot.”

This is a stark contrast from how guards contracted to Johns Hopkins feel about their job. The officers on Johns Hopkins-Homewood campus feel that they can handle most situations that they may face when on the job.

One officer stationed at Hopkins said that the campus is “fairly quiet.” They have worked for Allied almost a year and have yet to experience any dangerous or life threatening events.

Other officers at Hopkins said that they feel equipped for the work they do to keep the campus safe.

“If anything is out of my league or anything, then I’ll call the dispatcher whatever but other than that, I’m able to handle things very good,” said said another officer.

The Allied officers at Johns Hopkins also said though they can not use weapons Allied Universal gives them radios to communicate with dispatch and their superiors. If the situation calls for it, they can report incidents to Baltimore City Police officers via the radios they are given.

“It depends on how serious it is,” said an officer stationed at Hopkins. “If there’s an accident or something we’ll call dispatch, if it’s dealing with John Hopkins or the school. If it’s something that’s really heavy, then we call the police and have them check things out.”

When approached again for comment on the training and support given to their security officers, Allied Universal said:

As part of Allied Universal’s commitment to safety, we require all of our security professionals to complete a rigorous program that includes training on de-escalating conflicts, dealing with difficult situations, administering First Aid as well as other safety-focused topics. Each client may require additional site-specific training. Our scope of work for each client is based on their unique security objectives and needs, as well as the resources they can dedicate to their security program.

Additionally, the entire team at Allied Universal is still grieving and impacted by the tragic loss of Morgan State teammate Julian Fruh, who was the victim of a senseless act of gun violence committed by an acquaintance. We remind our team members weekly of the resources that are available if they need counseling or other support. We also ask them to notify their manager if they have any safety concerns. We will continue to reiterate this to our team

However, guards at Morgan still feel unsafe around Marble Hall. Some guards mentioned that they would be seeking other employment as a result.

Though Allied officers on Morgan State campus have previously complained about the lack of support that they receive from their shift supervisor, they feel their cries for help go unheard.

“It should be an eye-opener for the Allied,” said a Morgan-stationed officer regarding the shooting of Fruh. 

“Y’all should not even put us in the courts anymore. I feel that [it] should be a post for Morgan police because they have something to protect themselves. We don’t.”