Baltimore Police colonel leaves for Johns Hopkins security post

Baltimore Police Col. Melissa R. Hyatt, the highest-ranking woman in the department, is leaving to take a vice president post at Johns Hopkins University.

Hyatt will oversee security operations for Johns Hopkins Medicine and the Johns Hopkins University, "both domestically and around the globe," the school announced. Hyatt was recently appointed to oversee the Baltimore Police homeland security and training section. As chief of the Special Operations Division for several years, she oversaw special events, tactical units and the aviation, marine, mounted and K-9 units.

She was also chief of patrol. "Melissa has a strong leadership record and has demonstrated a high degree of commitment to improving police operations and relationships," Robert Kasdin, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Johns Hopkins Medicine, said in a statement. "Her extensive law enforcement leadership experience gives her a well-developed understanding of and ability to address the security challenges that impact our Johns Hopkins communities."

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Hyatt replaces Keith Hill, who retired in January after serving as the first vice president to oversee security for both the school and hospital. Baltimore Police Commissioner-Designate Darryl De Sousa said Hyatt "has been a great asset to the Baltimore Police Department for more than 20 years, from her leadership in command to her amazing efforts with Special Olympics."

"We will remain in close contact, as Johns Hopkins is getting a skilled public safety leader who will only strengthen our already great relationship," De Sousa said in a statement. Hyatt has a master's degree in science management from Johns Hopkins University. She will start in her new position on April 9.

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