Office of the President

Task Force on Community Policing

Download Public Safety and Community Policing Full Report

Dear campus community,

In the first months of my presidency, I charged a Community Policing Task Force to provide recommendations to enhance public and community policing to help move our campus toward more collaborative and trusting partnerships between our public safety officials and our university community. This work came at a unique moment in our history, as part of our nation’s reckoning with racial injustice. I believed it was our duty to consider new approaches that would ensure a greater sense of community safety and trust, particularly among those who are most vulnerable to discriminatory police actions.

Under the leadership of co-chairs Gregory Ball, now Vice President for Research, and Bonnie Thornton Dill, Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities, the members of the Task Force conducted a comprehensive evaluation of our current practices, surveyed peer institutions and conducted listening sessions with members of our community. Their comprehensive report demonstrates the care and attention the entire Task Force took in this critical work. I thank them all for their dedication and diligence.

The Public Safety and Community Policing Report outlined 23 recommendations for improving and enhancing public safety efforts in our community. After careful consideration of the full scope of the report, we will begin implementation of the recommendations below. Some of these recommendations have been long-standing practices and others have been recently adopted.

General Campus and Community Recommendations

  1. Engage mental health personnel to serve as first responders for mental health calls;
  2. Establish equitable, transparent and explicit policy, practices and guidelines regarding security at campus events;
  3. Develop a Memorandum of Understanding between the Division of Student Affairs and the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to develop a student-centered approach to policing;
  4. Enhance and more fully implement existing community policing programs;
  5. Continue DPS meetings with its student advisory committee on a regular basis;
  6. Continue regular and ongoing diversity training for police officers;
  7. Establish a program of restorative and transformative justice to establish safety and community in the face of different kinds of harm;
  8. Revise the DPS mission statement to align more closely with the mission of the university;

Recommendations for Police Training, Policies and Practices

  1. Continue to conduct annual in-service training for all DPS officers on de-escalation, anti-discrimination, anti-retaliation, anti-harrassment, use of force, implicit bias, equity, diversity and inclusion;
  2. Continue to require mental health screenings for all police officers prior to hiring;
  3. Continue training DPS personnel on appropriate defensive tactics;
  4. Create and maintain coordinated protocols for cross-jurisdictional incidents with Prince George’s County, Riverdale Park and Maryland Park and Planning;
  5. Review the use of tasers, non-lethal weapons and increase the use of non-sworn staff for routine patrols;
  6. Review current DPS procedures for reporting departmental statistics and implement a website that allows public access to this data;
  7. Implement DPS policy and procedures to ensure better publicity of departmental resources and reports;
  8. Review DPS modes of notifying campus and community members about on- and off-campus incidents;
  9. Review the number of blue light cameras and off-campus lighting;
  10. Publicly report contracts and other agreements DPS has with Prince George’s County and other police departments;
  11. Create a program to bolster communication and knowledge between DPS and the campus community, explore opportunities for this to be a for-credit program;
  12. Consider developing contracts for temporary assignments for DPS officers with outside agencies to promote professional development; and
  13. Implement a policy for uniform business cards for all DPS personnel to include resources for registering complaints or compliments.

After deliberation, we have chosen to modify the implementation of two Task Force recommendations – (1) the establishment of an independent Office of Community Safety and (2) a new Policing Review Board. In lieu of these measures, I will establish a Campus Safety Advisory Council, with Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer Carlo Colella and Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion Georgina Dodge serving as Chair and Vice-Chair respectively, and it will be comprised of faculty, staff and undergraduate and graduate students to assist in the implementation of the above-mentioned recommendations. It is also worth noting that recent state legislation established additional accountabilities for law enforcement organizations, including a Police Accountability Board, that would oversee police units including the University of Maryland Police Department (UMPD).

The Department of Public Safety – the officers and staff of UMPD – have played a vital role in keeping our campus community safe. We are grateful that crime rates on our campus continue to decline. UMPD also provides services beyond campus borders, including concurrent jurisdiction in sections of the city of College Park, with a population of over 32,000.

In 2021 alone, DPS provided more than 98,000 services to our community, including welfare and crisis interventions. They have also initiated several new community initiatives, such as the partnership with Lights On and the establishment of a comfort dog program. I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank every member of the UMPD for their work in keeping all of us safe. Under the direction of Chief David Mitchell, UMPD has been responsive and amenable to continual improvement, and a valued partner to our entire campus.

I also want to thank community advocates, who have championed change and progress, for helping us set up structures that emphasize accountability in community policing, with an eye toward compassion and fairness for all.

One of the four core pillars of our university’s new strategic plan is to “invest in people and communities.” I believe the work of the Task Force and the implementation of these recommendations represent a major advance in this strategic commitment. Our university is better today for this important endeavor.


Darryll J. Pines
President, University of Maryland, College Park


The Task Force will provide recommendations to enhance public safety and community policing that helps the University of Maryland campus move towards more collaborative and trusting partnerships between our public safety officials and the university community. It will examine community attitudes, experiences and values; policing structures, resources, practices and policies. It will assess and benchmark UMD against peers. The Task Force will pay particular attention to progress or lack thereof in areas related to hate-bias training, racial profiling, and the use of force, including those that result from our partnerships with other law enforcement agencies.



Gregory Ball
Dean and Professor
College of Behavioral and Social Sciences

Bonnie Thornton Dill
Dean and Professor
College of Arts and Humanities

Faculty, Staff, and Community Members

Elsa Barkley Brown
Associate Professor, Associate Chair
Department of History

John Brown
President, FOP Lodge 23
Department of Public Safety

Laura Dugan
Senate Chair and Professor
Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice

Shawn Eastman
Adjunct Professor/Lecturer
Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice

David Fields
University Police Officer
Department of Public Safety

Danielle Glaros
Councilmember, District 3
Prince George's County Council

Perla Guerrero
Associate Professor
Department of American Studies & Director of U.S. Latina/o Studies Program

Christina Hanhardt
Associate Professor
Department of American Studies

August Kenner
University Police Officer
Department of Public Safety

Gary LaFree
Professor & Chair
Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice

Peter Leone
Department of Counseling, Higher Education and Special Education

Jazz Lewis
Delegate, District 24
Maryland House of Delegates

Kris Marsh
Associate Professor
Department of Sociology

Sushant Ranadive
Assistant Professor
Department of Kinesiology

Tony Randall
Senior Manager
Student Success Initiative

Joseph Richardson, Jr.
Interim Chair and Professor
Department of African American Studies

Terence Sheppard
Board of License Commissioners

Cameron Thurston
Office of Community Engagement

Alexander Williams, Jr.
Executive Director and Founder
Center for Education, Justice, and Ethics

Patrick Wojahn
City of College Park

Undergraduate and Graduate Student Members

Dan Alpert
SGA President
Senior, Marketing

Benjamin Baitman
Undergraduate Student
Senior, Government & Politics

Charles Barclay
Graduate Student
Ph.D. program, Philosophy

Dan Laffin
GSG President
Public Policy

Alexandra Marquez
Undergraduate Student
Senior, Journalism

Zaharah Siddiq
President, NAACP-UMCP
Junior, Kinesiology

Rachelle Wakefield
President, Black Student Union
Junior, Public Health Science