Welcome back, and Happy New Year!
Temple University Campus Safety hopes you had a relaxing and fun break with your friends and family. We are excited to welcome students, faculty and staff back to our campuses for the spring 2023 semester.
Current Safety Plans and Developments
While you were away, we worked hard to continue safeguarding the community and to plan for the future. Included below are a few but not all of the initiatives and projects we are launching for the spring semester. I’m grateful for our police officers, security officers, communications professionals, and the university leadership and teams who have worked diligently through winter break to increase safety and collaborate with campus safety.
As the semester progresses, we will communicate more information about these initiatives and others. To learn about our safety resources, enhancements and updates, please see this dedicated webpage for university campus safety communications. You can also read stories about campus safety initiatives at Temple.
Student Town Halls
In January and February, the university will host student town halls with Temple Student Government President Gianni Quattrocchi, President Jason Wingard and myself. There will be opportunities for students to share questions and hear responses directly from us. The first town hall will be held on Monday, Jan. 23, from 5 to 6 p.m. Students should check their inboxes for an invitation to the event and to learn more, RSVP and submit their questions.
Our Temple University Campus Safety team is composed of police officers, security officers, communications center dispatchers, administrative staff, and contracted security officers with Allied Universal.
- Temple University police officers are currently engaged in active shooter refresher training.
- Temple University security officers are engaged in active intruder training and response protocols.
- Allied Universal, our contracted security officer partners, are receiving active intruder training and response protocols.
- Allied Universal bike patrol officers who are performing walking escorts received additional training in professional customer service.
- Communications Center dispatchers will start active attack for emergency dispatchers training in the spring semester.
- We have completed an audit of over 1,000 campus cameras and have devised a plan for moving forward with adding more cameras and replacing those that need repair.
- We have also completed a Code Blue phone audit and have a plan to move forward with adding cameras to several existing code blue phones on our Main and Health Sciences campuses.
- We have been meeting and working collaboratively with Housing and Residential Life to address safety issues within the dorms and additional measures. We are reviewing access controls, personnel and security training and protocols, and technology features to increase dorm safety.
- We have also worked with our partners in Facilities Management to inspect, increase and ensure the proper lighting operation in the following areas.
- Lights on IBC on 1400 Cecil B. Moore Ave., which improves visibility on the north side of the street.
- LED streetlights at 15th Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue, which add abundant light to that intersection.
- Lights on the 1400 Montgomery Avenue side of Pearson and McGonigle Halls are operational to illuminate the south side of the street for pedestrians walking to the Liacouras Garage.
- And the lights in the walkway from 16th and Berks streets to 15th Street are now all operational.
Communication and Collaboration
- Campus Safety has posted a new director of messaging and communications position, who will be charged with assisting the department in our messaging and communications strategy across our platforms.
- We are creating a new dynamic and engaging Campus Safety website to make outreach and engagement more accessible and transparent.
- We are also exploring goal and strategy tracking platforms or dashboards. This will let us share through an interactive display our progress on recommendations from the Violence Reduction Task Force, future recommendations from 21CP Solutions, and our progress related to Temple’s strategic plan.
- I have met with Valerie Harrison, vice president for diversity, equity, and inclusion; Jennifer Ibrahim, interim dean, College of Public Health; and Timothy Welbeck, director of the Center for Anti-Racism to collaborate on the Violence Reduction Task Force recommendations, future initiatives, and training.
- This semester, we are establishing four distinct advisory committees comprised of representative groups to safeguard and collaborate with including
- students, faculty and staff;
- neighbors and business communities; and
- law enforcement, criminal justice and public health professionals.
- Campus Safety holds monthly commanders and supervisors CompStat meetings, to discuss statistics and crime reduction strategies, track progress, increase communication, incorporate training, and enhance collaboration. CompStat is a performance management system used to reduce crime and achieve other Police Department goals by emphasizing information-sharing, responsibility and accountability, and improving effectiveness. It includes four generally recognized core components: (1) timely and accurate information or intelligence; (2) rapid deployment of resources; (3) effective tactics; and (4) consistent follow-up. Our leadership team also attends Philadelphia Police Department CompStat meetings and shooting briefings.
- We hold executive leadership meetings between the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), the Philadelphia Police Department (PPD) district-level and executive leadership, and Temple University Campus Safety leadership to discuss staffing and resource allocations, crime reduction strategies, case updates, and collaboration.
- Within the last week, I have met with the PPD leadership to discuss our shared mission to keep our community safe and the resource allocation and strategy under the city’s new “Operation Pinpoint” deployment plan to impact gun violence. You can learn more about the city’s plan to redeploy 100 officers to districts with high rates of gun violence in this Philadelphia Tribune article.
- We have completed or are actively pursuing numerous recommendations from the university’s Violence Reduction Task Force, including enhancing communication efforts; enhancing the Campus Safety website; developing more collaborations with the PPD; and reviewing current technology, such as cameras and Code Blue phones, to expand the program. We are working to create a visual dashboard to share on our website in the future.
- Arson case: On Nov. 15, 2022, an individual set fire to a residence on Cleveland Street. A Temple University Police Department (TUPD) detective worked closely with the Philadelphia Police Federal Arson Task Force and located the suspect, who was then turned over to the PPD. The suspect has since been taken into custody by the Federal Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Unit to face federal charges.
- Home invasion cases: Over a two-week period from Nov. 9–21, 2022, there were three home invasion cases on the 1300 block of North 15th Street and the 1900 block of North 18th Street. On Nov. 22, 2022, the PPD arrested a person of interest in the case who was then charged with two of the three robberies. Since the suspect’s arrest, there have been no additional home invasions.
- Armed street robberies: Between Dec. 8–11, 2022, two separate armed robberies of students were committed by the same perpetrator. On Dec. 12, TUPD police officers observed a subject matching the description and attempted to engage him. After a short foot pursuit, TUPD took the subject into custody, recovered a firearm, and turned the subject and gun over to PPD for weapon possession and related charges. Since this subject has been taken into custody, there have been no additional robberies in the area matching his description.
We encourage you to review the services and resources available at Temple to help you stay safe and informed. The resources are available to all students, faculty and staff.
- RAVE Temple Guardian app, a one-touch personal safety app that allows you to request a virtual or physical security escort and report suspicious activity. It also allows you to discretely send pictures and chat messages to TUPD. Learn more about how to use the app.
- Flight, Temple’s free, fixed-route evening shuttle service with three loops and 50 fixed stops. You can track the Flight shuttle’s location by using the TransLoc app.
- Walking escorts, Temple’s free Main Campus security officer escorts, can be reached by using the RAVE Guardian app or by calling 8-WALK (8-9255) from a campus phone, or 215-777-9255 from a cell phone.
- Temple’s Main Campus patrol map and Health Sciences Center patrol map.
- Best Nest Program, a collection of resources that can be used to help students and their families make informed off-campus housing decisions.
We urge all members of the Temple community to contact Temple Police for emergencies at 215-204-1234. Non-emergency questions and concerns should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or 215-204-7900 during business hours. We look forward to continuing to serve the Temple University community.
Jennifer D. Griffin
Vice President of Public Safety at Temple University