The UMB Pulse Podcast

UMB Police Department Chief Thomas Leone

November 11, 2021 Police Chief Thomas Leone Season 1 Episode 10
The UMB Pulse Podcast
UMB Police Department Chief Thomas Leone
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

The University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) Police Chief Thomas Leone was appointed to the top post at the UMB police department on Sept. 21.  He is no stranger to UMB having served the department since 2016 and was recently in the interim chief role. On this week's episode, we sit down with Leone and UMBPD Public Information Officer Carin Morrell to talk about all the great things the UMBPD does for the University and the West Baltimore community. They dive deep into how Chief Leone got is start as a police officer (7:54), how UMBPD engages the community (17:00), how you can use the UMBPD to stay safe on campus (22:59), how Officer Lexi, the University's first comfort dog, became a member of the department (28:13), and much more! 

Plus, in this week's Pulse Check: an update on COVID-19 protocols (5:23), information about upcoming events at the UMB Community Engagement Center (5:51) and at Donaldson Brown (6:33), and information about a new course you can take about the history of oppression (7:09).

Pulse Ep 10 UMBPD Chief_mixdown

Wed, 11/10 12:05PM • 35:52

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

police, lexi, community, thanksgiving, maryland, people, security officers, university, officers, police officer, year, campus, department, building, safe, neighborhood, baltimore city, service, police department, walk

SPEAKERS

Carin Morrell, Thomas Leone, Charles Schelle, Jena Frick, Dana Rampolla

 

Jena Frick  00:04

You're listening to the heartbeat of the University of Maryland, Baltimore, the UMB Pulse.

 

Charles Schelle  00:17

Thanks for streaming the UMB pulse. I'm Charles Schelle.

 

Dana Rampolla  00:19

I'm Dana rampolla.

 

Jena Frick  00:20

And I'm Jena Frick.

 

Charles Schelle  00:22

And later on we will sit down with the new University of Maryland Baltimore police chief, Thomas Leone, and we'll learn about him, some of the services the department offers, and how to keep safe this holiday season. He will also be joined by UMB PD Public Information Officer Carin Morrell, check the episode description or chapter markers to skip ahead.  And I feel like Halloween was yesterday. And now we're staring at Thanksgiving and all the turkeys from pumpkins on porches to pumpkin pie. It's been a pivot.

 

Jena Frick  00:50

It's been quite a pivot and you know what, actually, I have a hot take about Thanksgiving and fall flavors. So everyone's all about the pumpkin and the pumpkin spice, the pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie. But honestly, I think the very under appreciated and kind of much better flavor for Fall is apple. apple pies, apple tarts, apple cider, 

 

Dana Rampolla  01:13

that home made apple sauce.

 

Jena Frick  01:15

Exactly. It never gets any appreciation.

 

Charles Schelle  01:18

I agree. But I gotta say cranberry overload really is the kind of theme of the season and I just can't get enough of cranberry everything really? Yeah. Like the cranberry logs. Like anything cranberry at basically at Starbucks. And I even noticed like another coffee shop is putting out like cranberries, zesty muffins. I can feast on that for days. 

 

Jena Frick  01:41

I always feel like cranberry can happen any time of the year. Like I love a vodka cranberry in the summertime, with like a hint of lime or whatever. 

 

Dana Rampolla  01:49

well, maybe we should have a couple of those to kick off our session today. 

 

Jena Frick  01:53

that and maybe some Thanksgiving food. Do you guys have any favorite foods that are on the table for Thanksgiving?

 

Charles Schelle  02:00

pumpkin roll. It's our choice of dessert. It's like a log with like cream cheese in it like, yeah, yeah, that's really good. 

 

Jena Frick  02:07

cool. What about you, Dana?

 

Dana Rampolla  02:09

I go to with mashed potatoes and gravy. nice comfort food. All day after the Calvert Hall turkey bowl game? that's our annual tradition. My husband's going on... This is his 50th year, I think. And it's like my 40th

 

Jena Frick  02:28

Wow, that's a cool tradition. 

 

Dana Rampolla  02:30

Yeah. Every morning bright and early. His brothers played in it. My son played in it. And last year is the first time they canceled it because of COVID.

 

Jena Frick  02:38

Wow. So is it going to be on for this year?

 

Dana Rampolla  02:41

As as far as we know, so far? 

 

Jena Frick  02:44

My family is kind of weird with thanksgiving. Like, my mom's whole side of the family is Italian so they don't really understand how to do things. Like we'll have a turkey but sometimes it's not really cooked correctly. Or we'll have like lasagna. Which is like just so not what normal traditional Thanksgiving is. So I usually rely on like friends giving to have like normal Thanksgiving food.

 

Dana Rampolla  03:11

That's good. Let me ask you this. It does the lasagna have cinnamon in it? 

 

Jena Frick  03:15

No, it doesn't. 

 

Dana Rampolla  03:16

Oh, my husband's family is from Sicily and they put it in their lasagna. Also at Thanksgiving. They always have a tray with cinnamon, which I never heard of before

 

Jena Frick  03:26

I've never heard of that. But my family's not from Sicily. We're from like the Naples area. 

 

Dana Rampolla  03:32

don't know if it's a Sicily thing or an Italian thing.

 

Charles Schelle  03:36

everyone just does Thanksgiving their own way. I knew someone from high school. His family does ribs for Thanksgiving.

 

Jena Frick  03:45

I would be totally on board with that. That sounds great. 

 

Charles Schelle  03:48

I know a little messy. But why not?

 

Dana Rampolla  03:51

Mm hmm. Well, so we know it's been a challenging year. For a lot of people. There are some great ways to make Thanksgiving better for a lot of other people in the community, not just ourselves with our mashed potatoes. There's one in particular, UMB has organized a special day for 31 years. It's called Project feast. And project Feast will be held on Thanksgiving Day. I don't know if you guys have heard of it or been to it, but it's on the 25th and it's from 11 to three at Booker T Washington Elementary School in Southwest Baltimore and the event features to go meals, community resources and donated clothing. I think they've got toiletries, they've got all kinds of handouts, toys and non perishable food.

 

Charles Schelle  04:30

Yeah, and you know, they're also in need of volunteers to make the turkeys, serve meals, and hand out Donations of gently used clothing. Toys, as we mentioned, food, as well as direct donations to pay for the cost of a turkey meal or coat. We will share a link in our episode description to an album story with all the details and links for ways to help email questions to project feast.umb@gmail.com Yeah,

 

Jena Frick  04:55

it is a really great event and there's always a great turnout and I have to shout out one of our colleagues that used to work with OCPA, Patricia Fanning, who is there every single year serving handing out food and clothing and donations and stuff. 

 

Dana Rampolla  05:08

one more amazing thing about Patricia 

 

Jena Frick  05:10

I know she's wonderful and a legend here at UMB. 

 

Dana Rampolla  05:15

She is. she really is. 

 

Jena Frick  05:17

So let's hear what else is happening at UMD this is your pulse check.  The UMD face covering policy has been updated wear masks are no longer required outdoors for more visit umaryland.edu/coronavirus.  COVID-19 vaccines are now available for five to 11 year olds. The vaccine will be made available at schools local health departments, pediatrician and family physician offices, as well as pharmacies find providers at COVIDvax.maryland.gov and find Baltimore City clinics at Coronavirus dot Baltimore city.gov. The UMB community engagement center will host a free train and work resource fair on Tuesday, November 23, from five to 6:30pm. Bring your resume and your career dreams and you will be connected with numerous employers, training programs and community resources. No registration is required.  Also at the CEC the community computer lab is now open Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm. No appointment is needed. Children under 18 years old may use the lab while accompanied by an adult. The CEC is located in the Hollins market neighborhood at 16 South Poppleton Street, subscribe to their newsletter by visiting our chapter markers, or visit umaryland.edu/pulse For a link.

 

Dana Rampolla  06:33

Enjoy a classic holiday atmosphere with Donaldson Brown. The Donaldson brown riverfront Events Center in port deposit will host a holiday brunch on Saturday, December 4. The brunch includes a scrumptious menu including homemade goodies, self guided tours, and a tasty holiday favor for all in this historic Maryland treasure. All of this is included for only $28 A person. Seatings are offered at 10am in the formal dining room and at noon in the Chesapeake room. Reservations are a must email Donaldson Brown at umaryland.edu or call 410-378-2555

 

Charles Schelle  07:09

learn about the history of inequality, housing, and transportation in Baltimore, and how the city can move forward in a new course offered to the general public. A brief history of oppression and resistance an introduction is offered by the University of Maryland School of Social Work to learn about some of the historical and contemporary forms of structural oppression and racism that targets black individuals and communities in Baltimore City. That includes the topic of redlining and the highway to new were to name a few. It is a two hour self paced online course the School of Social Work's Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is also offering limited full and partial community scholarships for this course. The regular price is $80. Visit umaryland.edu/pulse For a link to the course. and that is your pulse check.  University of Maryland Police Chief Thomas Leone was appointed to the top post at the UMB Police Department earlier this semester on September 21. He is no stranger to UMB having served the department since 2016, and was recently in the interim chief role. He also has 20 years of experience with the Frederick County Sheriff's Office. He holds a Master of Science degree in Homeland Security and crisis management law from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. And in 2021, he received honorable mention in the leadership category of the UMB presidential core values awards. He is joined here today with a UMBPD Public Information Officer Carin Morrell. Welcome, and congratulations to Chief Leone. And thank you, Karen, for joining us here today.

 

Thomas Leone  08:37

Thanks for having us. 

 

Carin Morrell  08:38

Thanks for having us.

 

Charles Schelle  08:39

So you've been here quite a while but you've most recently had the interim tag removed, how does it feel to be able to lead this department?

 

Thomas Leone  08:49

It's a privilege. It really is from coming in as a lieutenant and working my way up through the ranks. It's just been a great experience meeting a lot of wonderful people here

 

Charles Schelle  08:59

and give people a little bit of background about the size of the department how many police and security officers there are and the staff that just make up the department.

 

Thomas Leone  09:08

So we have 195 positions 66 police officers, 102 security officers and eight security supervisors, and communications dispatchers as well as administrative staff. Yeah, no, it is a handful of people that is serve the community.

 

Dana Rampolla  09:28

It's really amazing how you, you spent 20 years with the Frederick County Sheriff's Office and then you've been here since 2016. So how did you wind up here and what do you like about being an officer in a university setting?

 

Thomas Leone  09:43

So the first 20 years I spent municipal policing. I was a director of a drug task force and we traveled all around the country and into a lot of big cities and met a lot of really interesting people along the way. Towards the end of my career there I started to Do some work at Mount St. Mary's. It's small Catholic College in northern Frederick County. And I just was intrigued with higher ed at that point. So after my 20 years in Frederick, I wanted to pursue a different little different journey. And Higher Ed was just like seemed to be the right spot for me.

 

Dana Rampolla  10:19

So, Chief, where did you grow up? And why did you want to become a police officer?

 

Thomas Leone  10:23

Oh, I've told this story a few times. So I'm from a small coal mining town in western Pennsylvania. My very first interaction with a police officer, they had a call for service in my neighborhood, and I was about 12. So my mom had passed away the year before, right. So I was taking care of my little brother, and the police show up in our neighborhood. And, you know, it wasn't like the, we don't, we didn't see all the violence and all of that stuff on TV like we do today. It was much more censored back then. So when the police showed up, it was like, a superhero came into the neighborhood. And I was like, wow. And you know, the trooper was Pennsylvania State Trooper, he said, Hey, can you take your brother and go in the house? we're investigating something in the neighborhood. And you know, that just that whole experience, like this person coming into our small little town, saying, Hey, we're here to help you and like that guided me along the journey. That's great.

 

Dana Rampolla  11:24

Yeah. Interesting. I hadn't heard that before haven't

 

Jena Frick  11:27

so from 12 years old. You knew you wanted to be a police officer?

 

Thomas Leone  11:30

I did. I did. I did a lot. There were some bumps along the way of that journey. But yeah, since I was 12. I kind of knew I wanted to be in law enforcement,

 

Charles Schelle  11:40

which town in Pennsylvania.

 

Thomas Leone  11:42

So it's Luxor is the name of the town like Greensburg new Stanton, in Western Pennsylvania, about 45 minutes from Pittsburgh.

 

Carin Morrell  11:57

you've had Other really interesting jobs. you painted buildings for a while 

 

Thomas Leone  12:00

i did so whenever I got out of high school and find a job and I'm trying to figure out life, I took a job as a union painter. And the day I knew I didn't want to do that anymore was they put me on the side of a 20 story building and painting windows and so on a little thing called a pic. So there was about a foot of metal that I was standing on with a little handrail and painting windows up all of those stories and in the city the winds would how Pittsburgh split its blocks are square. So the wind would just howl down the street. yeah, it was terrifying. 

 

Dana Rampolla  12:40

And then you realized all right, I can be on the ground. I don't need to be up there, rather be a policeman. 

 

Jena Frick  12:48

My mouth dropped open when you're talking about being on a teeny tiny thing that high up. Oh my gosh,

 

Thomas Leone  12:54

I'm afraid of heights to this day from that experience. I don't want to climb anywhere.

 

Charles Schelle  13:00

you don't even ride like the Duquesne incline in Pittsburgh.

 

Thomas Leone  13:04

I could do the Duquesne incline okay. But the rope swing or something in the amusement park, not a chance. I don't want anything to do with the heights.

 

Jena Frick  13:14

 I don't blame you. But I'm so pivoting back to working at UMB and the University. So the educational aspect for officers is probably a huge attraction in your ranks. And they also go through some sort of specialized training is that right?

 

Thomas Leone  13:32

They do. So the Maryland Police Training Commission requires 18 hours of training. Our officers are all right around 60 or 60 plus hours of training and our training focuses more on community outreach and support. We do the red folder training for mental health awareness dealing with students or community members in mental health, crisis's. Our LGBTQ plus police training is just really unique for policing in general. over the 20 years of experience that I had prior to coming to umb, we never really invested in learning about diversity, equity and inclusion the way we are here at UMB

 

Charles Schelle  14:19

and touching on something you said earlier about the red folder training in mental health. I think this really goes into our next topic about social workers and police officers. And that's been a huge part of the national conversation. I think it's really cool about this new program, but the School of Social Work community outreach service they're providing to interns to assist the department tell us about that partnership, and what both students and officers get from the experience.

 

Thomas Leone  14:44

It's amazing. So the whole criminal justice system and policing in general. We're looking for a change. So the program to me is a beacon of hope. It's the light that says you know what we can do this and we can do Better, the co-response model it is being talked about across the nation, but like we've jumped right in and are working with the school of social work to help develop that. And you know, what we want to see long term is the school of social work developing a certificate program or something along those lines, to emphasize the importance of the co-response model. Like for our officers, what they learn is just the empathy side of dealing with people like to me is the big piece, we bring the social workers in, and they can do case management in the follow up, our officers are good at engaging, but long term solutions, you're just not equipped to deal with that or to do it. So when our officers engage with some of our vulnerable community, with the Social Work, Work interns with them, they can help people in the moment to get them to whatever resources they need. And, and helping them in the moments, the key to this, like you can say, Oh, I'm coming back tomorrow, tomorrow may never, you may never engage with them again. So if they're willing to participate and want help, and we can do it now, that's how we can impact change

 

Charles Schelle  16:12

how does assistance come about, I guess, for some of these folks, are they walking the streets and and it's an observation, or are you getting calls for service and you're making the determination, then, maybe it's a social worker that needs to come to this as well.

 

Thomas Leone  16:29

So it's a little bit of both our calls for service aren't as high as a municipal police department. But if we get a call for a distressed individual, our police officers engage with that person and make sure it's safe. But the social work piece fits there, there's more to it than just showing up and saying, Hey, we're here to help. So they have to assess the situation the scene and and really determine if that person is in the right place to help.

 

Carin Morrell  16:58

What's great about this program is that it's expanding upon a lot of the work that we're already doing at the UMBPD. So our community outreach and support team, which is called COAST for short works with homeless populations and vulnerable populations. We partner with the Baltimore Police Department for the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion Program lead, which helps to provide resources to people who might be going through a mental health crisis, or, you know, we're trying to keep them out of prison and keep from arresting them. Instead, we're providing resources. So the Social Work program is really building upon that work that we're already doing. And just, you know, adding that extra case management piece

 

Dana Rampolla  17:42

is this something that municipal police are doing as well, or are you able to do that, because you might not have as heavy a load as the city police.

 

Thomas Leone  17:53

So municipal departments across the state, there may be one or two others in the state of Maryland that are currently doing something a similar model. This Baltimore Police Department is trying to get something like this off the ground. If we can work out the kinks and develop the model, it would be easier for us to hand off to some of the municipal departments

 

Carin Morrell  18:16

we're really fortunate to have the support from our leadership that allows us to follow in these programs and really build and develop these programs. So we're really fortunate that we're able to do that.

 

Thomas Leone  18:27

And the best thing, it's UMB, right, we're all here together, it's UMB strong. UMB proud what however you want to say it. So our goal is that we have social work involved. Next, it will be nursing then law and pharmacy and just get everyone on the team to it would be a much more holistic approach. So we engage with people, we have all of these experts here that can help. So why not leverage them.  I mean, we work with some different grassroots organizations in the city. And we're working on a pipeline from youth growing up in Baltimore City to police officer. So one organization that we're working with art smiles, they're youth mentors. So they are touching the lives of the young people in Baltimore City from a young age into their early 20s. So if they can help leverage them into a security officers position, for example, we get them here at UMB. It opens up a world of opportunity for them with tuition remission. And also if they want to get into law enforcement, or any of the other fields here at the university, quite honestly,

 

Jena Frick  19:39

oh my gosh, it's like full circle, because you know, a 12 year old meeting a superhero in the neighborhood, and then you bring them into it policing.

 

Thomas Leone  19:48

It's the way of the future. I mean, we have to engage with our community. If we don't, we're missing that, we're missing the big picture. We are a wonderful organization and a wonderful City, we just need to look for the positives and grow.

 

Charles Schelle  20:03

Yep. Speaking of community partnerships, we're also partnering with our sister institutions. So earlier, it was announced that we're partnering with the University of Baltimore for policing services. How does that partnership work? And will the UMB community notice anything different as part of the arrangement?

 

Thomas Leone  20:21

No. So you, the UMB community, and you will not notice anything different in the day to day activities, both organizations, the biggest difference for our partners at UB is the command structure in their organization, we're going to replace the admin administrative section, with what we're currently doing here at UMB. So it'll be one leadership over the two campuses,

 

Dana Rampolla  20:46

right. And I know it might be hard to set and achieve priorities and goals during a pandemic, but what are a couple of the goals that you have or things you're focusing on, as we look toward the next year. 

 

Thomas Leone  21:00

we want to, we want to grow and develop our partnership with the School of Social Work, and just make that a much more robust venture with them. And the community outreach and support team is great. But we just need to bring in all of the different things, we're doing together a little more and just be a little more structured there. I think another big push for me would be developing within the Organization for Security Officers a career path, just to growth and development and help them reach whatever goals that they have. And then what my biggest priority is the safety and security of the campus. I mean, that's the number one thing that we're here to do. We constantly evaluate our patrol strategy, our training, our response to different situations, we want to be the best.

 

Dana Rampolla  21:54

Well, and you said it, we are an urban setting, and we're pretty safe, but things can happen. So let's talk about some ways that we can stay safe here at UMB.

 

Thomas Leone  22:04

Whenever I address the student groups, I always give them the same advice I give my daughter whenever I bring her down to campus. And we want you to travel in groups if you can. Well, lit streets stay on the main paths. Walk with a purpose. When you're getting in and out of your car. Do that with a purpose as well. When you get out, make sure you lock your car, your valuables are all secured. The Walking and talking on the cell phones it just distracts you as you're traveling around campus, you should be with your head up and aware of your surroundings while you're traveling from your parking garage to your school or your school to home. Whatever however that journey looks, you need to be aware of your surroundings at all times.

 

Dana Rampolla  22:47

And let's say I'm walking out of my building, and I'm not, you know, I just don't feel safe for whatever reason maybe I'm here a little bit later in the day what what options do I have to get to my car and feeling safer.

 

Thomas Leone  22:59

If you're not feeling safe on campus, get into one of our buildings if you can. And depending on the situation Safe Ride and safe Walk are available, Safe Ride is available from 7am to 1am Safe Walk is available 24/7 a safe ride is like a Lyft or an Uber app, you can request the ride through the UMB app. You can see how long it's going to take them to pick you up you can see where the van is it'll notify you when the van shows up. average wait time is about eight minutes. Duration of the ride is around four minutes, we give about 110 rides per day with a safe ride. Safe Walk is much... It's really underutilized. We only give maybe two or three Safe Walks or escorts a month. And that service you have to call in and you have to talk to one of our dispatchers, they'll dispatch a security officer or a police officer to walk you meet you where you're at and walk you to your car or to your other whatever location

 

Jena Frick  24:09

I actually didn't even know about Safe Walk until you just start talking about it right now. So that's really great to know.

 

Carin Morrell  24:15

And our safe ride service is available through the mobile UMB app. So you don't need to download a new app. It's just right there on your phone already, hopefully. And there's also you know, if you don't have the app, but you're getting ready to leave and it's dark out, you'd like to get a ride. Every UMB building has a QR code on the external facing doors. And you can scan the QR code right then and you can download the app and request a ride.

 

Charles Schelle  24:41

That's great because it's one less phone number to remember.

 

Carin Morrell  24:45

But if you don't have a smartphone, you can call our police communication center and that's 107066882

 

Dana Rampolla  24:53

I have to say I have used the Safe Ride service before and I didn't think about the Safe Walk because as silly as it was I was in Saratoga wound up, or No, I was in Lexington, but parked in Saratoga and I wound up working until like 10 o'clock one night, the lights were off in the building. And I thought it is such a short walk. I am not a person who's afraid. But like my Mother Brain kicked in. And I thought, who knows, there could be anybody behind this building. We see all kinds of things there in the morning when we walk in. And I did, I called for a safe ride, which in hindsight was silly, I should have called for a Safe Walk. But the gentleman was so nice. He pulled up he was in the van, he drove me all of 100 yards to the garage. But I felt just so comforted that he was there to do that for me. So it is a terrific service. And I would encourage anyone to use either of those services because they're here for us. And you know, why? Why should we not feel confident just simply walking to our car if we're doing service for the university late at night,

 

Carin Morrell  25:55

and all of our drivers and our safe walkers Are you UMBPD employees, they're police and they're security officers. It's not a stranger. Like if you requested a Lyft or an Uber, you will know exactly who you're getting in the car with. They're they're employed by the university,

 

Thomas Leone  26:11

and most have been here a long time 15-20 year employee, so it should be reassuring when you get in the van to see that friendly face.

 

Jena Frick  26:20

Yeah, and I'm sure many people would recognize the people who are coming to pick them up and stuff because we see our umb police officers and security officers around all the time when we go into buildings.  since we're talking about all this, you know, the weather is getting colder, it's getting dark earlier, we're talking about ways to stay safe. I noticed we have those blue light stops on the corners and everything most college campuses have it. Can you tell us a little bit about those blue lights, who you're talking to? what happens when you press one of those?

 

Carin Morrell  26:50

Yeah, I'm so glad you asked. Because I think a lot of people see the blue light phones on campus and aren't sure what to do. So a blue light phone, sometimes they're located on the side of a building, sometimes it's a standalone structure. We have 31 of them across campus clusters, a number of them in parking garages across campus. And the blue light phones are not panic buttons, it is a phone. So when you push the button, you can't just run away, you need to stay and talk to our police communications operator. It's the dispatcher that you would talk to if you call it our police department. And what they're gonna do is they're gonna ask you the location of your emergency. And there is a really convenient numbered big number on the blue light phone you can't miss it, you're just going to tell them the number you're gonna say I'm at blue light phone 10 And if that's all you want to say they'll send help there if you want to stay and you want to talk to them and let them know what's happening or you know if there's a medical emergency so they know what resources to send any additional information is great but at the very least once you hit the button you need to tell them the number on the phone and then help will be on the way 

 

Dana Rampolla  28:02

so don't hit and run

 

Carin Morrell  28:06

I think that's good advice in all facets here

 

Charles Schelle  28:14

and we should not forget our comfort dog officer Lexi so how can people meet officer Lexi and how does she help folks with anxiety?

 

Carin Morrell  28:24

Yeah, Officer Lexi is our comfor k9 she was the third University Police Department comfort canine in the United States. So we're really proud of of Lexi. And she helps people with stress, anxiety, depression, trauma that they might be dealing with. Not just members of our community but some of our neighbors in West Baltimore. She comes to PAL some times and even our own police officers if they're having a really stressful day or they had you know, a call that was really tough. She will go and just work with our police officers and they can take a couple minutes to pet her and just kind of feel some relief. Lexi is also really helpful because she helps us build relationships in neighborhoods that might not trust the police or they might not feel comfortable approaching the police but everybody loves a dog. So Lexi is a really great asset there as well. But you can request a visit with Lexi on the Police website which is you maryland.edu/police There's also a direct link is bit.li/officer Lexi and she has an Instagram which is @officerLexie so you can follow her there and there's lots of cute pictures 

 

Jena Frick  29:38

I'm a follower. 

 

Thomas Leone  29:40

She has more followers than I have.

 

Charles Schelle  29:44

So how old is Lexi and what breed is she?

 

Carin Morrell  29:47

Lexi is turning. I think Lexi just turned three. In August and she is a mix of a lot of different things. We say she's an Australian Shepherd mix we actually got some DNA results for her, And if you ever see officer Lexi's canine handler, Corporal Jr. Jones he has little trading cards with Lexi's information and some like favorite what her favorite things are, so if you ever spot JR and Lexie around he'll give you a card

 

Charles Schelle  30:24

is it okay to approach her with treats or now?

 

Carin Morrell  30:26

Yeah, yeah I would just... Jr always says people come up and say hi to Lexi before they say hi to him. Remember that there's also a human there say hi to Jr. 

 

Charles Schelle  30:37

We need to bring treats for him

 

Thomas Leone  30:41

so Lexi's story is pretty cool though. She comes from Brevard County, Florida. the paws and stripes Academy in Brevard County, Florida is where we got Lexi from. She's trained by the inmates in Brevard County. And then they host police departments to come down every few months to work with the the inmates and the canines that are in training. And then they really helps transition them back to a friendly home?

 

Charles Schelle  31:13

Well, we plug Lexie social media, we should probably tell folks how old they can follow you the police department on social media too. So yeah, if

 

Carin Morrell  31:22

while you're following Lexi, please be sure to also follow the police department. We are on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @policeUMB. And there's a lot of really important resources and safety tips. We have fun pictures and updates of stuff that we're we're doing as well as you know, if there's police activity in the area or something, you know, a traffic issue. We might post that on our social media if it doesn't really rise to the level of sending an alert out to campus. But it's really important to follow us on social media so that you can get all that information as well as our partners in emergency management. You can follow them on Twitter @UMBOEM.

 

Jena Frick  32:02

Not only will you see alerts and such on social but soon people will probably be seeing fun pictures from the annual Polar Bear Plunge right you guys are participating this year.

 

Thomas Leone  32:12

Yes, this this is my first year as a super plunger. 24 plunges in 24 hours. my goal was to raise $10,000 for Special Olympics of Maryland

 

Carin Morrell  32:26

your goal is still is to raise $1,000.

 

Thomas Leone  32:29

I have a lot of work to do. Kelly will kill me if I have to write a check for $9,000... You can delete or maneuver anyway.

 

Carin Morrell  32:44

Chief Leone and Lieutenant Matthew Johnson will both be super plunging this year. Both of them need to raise $10,000. So we definitely could use your support and a lot of our officers and police communications operators security officers I always plunge every year. I'm not as crazy as chief Leone I'm just gonna do it the one time but we all are really invested in this in this endeavor and definitely appreciate your support.

 

Dana Rampolla  33:15

How do we support you? How do we where do we look to find you

 

Carin Morrell  33:19

you can donate to chief leone on... there's a link in our social media. the pledge is in January and it's at Sandy Point State Park, which is in Arundel County.

 

Thomas Leone  33:33

And two years ago, when I dove in? It was like ice cubes hitting you in the water. 

 

Jena Frick  33:41

it's a really fun event though. There's videos of ones from years past on umaryland.edu and go watch it and then donate right after because it's a real fun thing.

 

Thomas Leone  33:52

it's great. It's a great experience.

 

Dana Rampolla  33:55

Well, this has been a great conversation. Thank you, Chief and Carin for being here. I think what's really great is that we've given people the opportunity to understand what you're doing in the community, not just on the UMB campus. And that your reach is far greater than just our little central hub. I also think it's really interesting for people to know that you are real police, men and women. You know, we oftentimes look at campuses and just think that these are security guards, but you guys are very vested in our safety. And we appreciate that.

 

Thomas Leone  34:27

You know, many times university police departments are thought of as security forces or just public safety in general. You know, we are a full service law enforcement agency certified by the Police Training Commission here in Maryland. We have concurrent jurisdiction with the Baltimore Police Department. And you know, we're not just the average police department, our community outreach and everything just puts us in my opinion, step above the rest.

 

Dana Rampolla  34:54

Absolutely. Well, thank you again. Thank you both and we will look for you patrolling the streets.

 

Jena Frick  35:00

Thank you. Our next episode on Thursday December 2 will feature Tony Scott from the southwest partnership and Ashley Valis, who is the executive director of community engagement and strategic initiatives at UMB will learn about what Southwest Partnership does, how you can help community organizations and how you can be involved with the Southwest partnership.

 

Dana Rampolla  35:20

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

 

Charles Schelle  35:23

Gobble gobble

 

Jena Frick  35:28

the UMB pulse with Charles Schelle, Dana rampolla and Jena frick is a UMB Office of Communications and Public Affairs production edited by Charles Schelle sound engineering by Jena Frick marketing by Dana rampolla Music by No vibe recorded in the University of Maryland Baltimore community engagement center