City Council President launches public safety advisory commission

NaTavia Williams, Staff Writer

City Council President Brandon Scott’s journey began on Cold Spring Lane and Pimlico Road, about five miles from Morgan State’s campus. Growing up, he had a front-row seat to the disadvantages Baltimore neighborhoods face. 

“Every decision I’ve made is made rooted in that little boy who grew up in a neighborhood no one cared about,” Scott said. 

Last week, Scott announced the Public Safety Advisory Commission that provides local residents with a direct avenue to work with the Baltimore Police Department. The main objective is to open a channel of  dialogue between police and the Baltimore community. 

According to Scott, the program will focus on “how the police department is going to improve its relationship with young people, with men, with women [and] the LGBTQ community.”

Platforms for dialogue present members of the community with an opportunity to express their feelings and police can learn new perspectives. The Morgan State Police Department is planning a similar safety summit for Spring 2020.

Over the past five years, repeat tragedies of violence have touched the campus, most recently Manuel Luis Jr. who was fatally shot near the Morgan View Apartments in early July. 

Following Luis’s death, Morgan State President David Wilson released a statement announcing that he reached out to various Baltimore City officials including Police Commissioner Michael Harrison to discuss safety issues within the Morgan community. 

“Morgan’s campus is safe, and we have the imperial data that proves that,” said Lance Hatcher, Chief of Morgan State Police. 

Currently Morgan State students can submit safety concerns online and at the police station. 

There is a tentative safety summit being planned by MSUPD, the Student Government Association and other departments. 

In addition to the safety summit MSUPD is attempting to expand its jurisdiction. Any property owned, operated or leased by Morgan is under MSUPD jurisdiction. However, the blocks of Arlington Avenue and Cold Spring Lane do not fall under MSUPD jurisdiction. 

Both blocks serve as a direct path from Morgan to Morgan View. The jurisdiction expansion offers an extra layer of protection for students who commute from Morgan View.