Letters from the Chief 2021-2022

UMB Transitions 911 Call System to Improve Emergency Services

Dear UMB Community,

From a young age, we are taught to call 911 in an emergency. This is a message we repeat at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB). Today, we are proud to announce a transition of the 911 system at UMB that will provide seamless emergency services to our community. Now, when you dial 911 from any campus phone, your call will go directly to the Baltimore City 911 Center, just as it would if you called 911 from your cellphone.

Historically, calling 911 from many offices, hotels, and universities would require callers to first dial “9” for an outside line. This created a dangerous situation in which callers may not reach help in an emergency. Maryland recently enacted Kari’s Law to ensure that anyone dialing 911 can reach a 911 call center.

After months of collaboration between the UMB Police Department (UMBPD), Office of Emergency Management, Center for Information Technology Services, and the Baltimore City 911 Center, UMB has transitioned the 911 system to comply with Kari’s Law. Here is what UMB community members can expect:

  • Dialing 911 on a UMB campus phone will call the Baltimore City 911 Center.
  • UMBPD police communications operators (PCOs) will be automatically notified about 911 calls that occur on campus. In addition, UMB PCOs will monitor 911 calls that are made from campus phones to quickly deploy UMB’s own emergency resources.
  • UMB has upgraded the campus phone system by implementing new software that will help the Baltimore City 911 Center identify a caller’s location on campus.
  • UMB and Baltimore City have implemented a new software tool that will alert UMB’s emergency personnel when the Baltimore City 911 Center sends emergency resources to UMB.
  • UMB emergency blue light phones and elevator emergency phones will continue to be answered by UMBPD PCOs.

This new 911 system allows us to provide more coordinated emergency services to our UMB community. Increasing our information-sharing capability allows UMB emergency personnel to be immediately dispatched when a call is placed to the Baltimore City 911 Center — even from your cellphone! This means a faster response to the correct location on campus.

Please take a moment to remove outdated UMBPD phone numbers from your phone, like 410-706-3333 and 711; these numbers should no longer be used. For UMBPD services, including Safe Walk/Safe Ride, call 410-706-6882 (6-6882 from an on-campus phone).

In an emergency, always call 911!


Thomas Leone, MSL
UMB Chief of Police
  Jonathan Bratt, MS
Executive Director, UMB Office of Emergency Management


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