Robinson discussing Hopkins job Hospital is seeking security chief

February 02, 1993|By Joe Nawrozki | Joe Nawrozki,Staff Writer

Bishop L. Robinson, Maryland's secretary of public safety and correctional services for the past five years, may quit his state post to become security chief of the Johns Hopkins medical complex in East Baltimore.

Mr. Robinson has for about three months been involved in negotiations with Dr. James A. Block, president and chief executive officer of the Johns Hopkins Health Systems and Hopkins Hospital, according to sources.

If an agreement can be reached, Mr. Robinson might leave state service when the current General Assembly session concludes April 12.

Mr. Robinson acknowledged the discussions, but said he has not made a final decision. "Those discussions will continue," said the secretary, who earns an annual salary of $108,372.

Hospital officials began looking for a high-profile security chief after last year's abduction of Dr. Daniel E. Ford.

The Hopkins physician was robbed at gunpoint in a hospital garage, choked by his assailants and left for dead in the trunk of his car. The incident led to an outcry for heightened security at the Hopkins complex.

An ad hoc committee on security was formed after Dr. Ford's abduction. The committee was chaired by Dr. John Stobo.

Last August the committee recommended a restructuring of the security division and that a "security czar" be appointed with several other directors serving under the new executive director.

The current head of security, William H. McLean, declined to comment on any pending changes.

Elaine Freeman, director of public affairs for Hopkins, confirmed the discussions between Mr. Robinson and the hospital. She declined, however, to reveal details.

But another well-placed source at Hopkins said the current offer to Mr. Robinson calls for an annual salary of "over $100,000 and the eventual hiring of three other directors who will work under Robinson and handle external and internal security."

"They are looking for a big name, a high-profile type of person," said the source.

Mr. Robinson -- a career Baltimore police officer who rose to the position of commissioner and who was appointed to his current post by Gov. William Donald Schaefer in 1987 -- could fill that role if he accepts the position.

Yesterday, Mr. Robinson said he had achieved most of the points of his "Action Agenda Plan" set forth shortly after he assumed office.

They included, he said, a new statewide fingerprint system, the prison boot camp in Jessup, reorganization of the Maryland State Police, and legislative approval of a central booking facility to be constructed next to the Baltimore Detention Center.

And, he said, the ancient and oft-criticized South Wing of the Maryland State Penitentiary will be replaced with what he called the Metropolitan Reintegration System.

The thick granite walls of the South Wing will remain but the interior will be gutted and rebuilt, he said.

Mr. Robinson grew up in the McCulloh Street projects and became a police officer. He worked his way up to the position of police commissioner, a post he held from 1984 to 1987.

The Hopkins complex occupies a jagged, 44-acre configuration in East Baltimore bounded on the east by Chester Street, on the west by Caroline Street, on the north by Madison Street and on the south by Orleans Street.

Included within those boundaries are the hospital, the schools of medicine, nursing and hygiene and public health, and the Kennedy Krieger Institute.

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