To the Temple community,
It is a tragedy to see the effects of gun violence on our community. While both shootings that recently happened near campus were unrelated, they started from interpersonal conflicts on the street and resulted in gun violence. The Temple University Department of Public Safety (DPS) is committed to deterring crime, partnering with the Philadelphia Police Department (PPD), and fostering strong relationships with the community to address gun violence. As a result, we will have increased police presence within the patrol zone, specifically on and around Broad St. and on Cecil B. Moore, where there is a high-volume of pedestrian traffic.
We have reiterated to supervisors and police officers the need for moving patrols and park and walks (foot patrols) within officers' respective zones to remain highly visible in the area and to engage the public. I also spoke to several executive leaders from the PPD to request and coordinate increased stationary and moving PPD patrols, increased attention by the State Police and PPD "Operation Triggerlock," and to reinforce the strategy and tactics coordination of the 288 hours a week of supplemental patrols by PPD contracted by DPS.
Our DPS supervisors will ensure that our police officers are performing the park and walks, and that the PPD supplemental team is aware of the incidents and requirements for high visibility and engagement. Supervisors have also been advised to pair officers up to perform park and walks. Our contracted security officers are continuing to review reporting procedures for incidents that occur in their presence to ensure dispatch and police officers are immediately notified of issues. Our Communication Center will be diligent with reviewing camera views, and dispatchers will ensure that supervisors and officers are aware of gatherings and immediately deploy resources to areas to break up problematic groups before conflicts erupt and result in violence. Early detection and intervention are critical where interpersonal conflicts with individuals who are carrying guns result in gun violence. I have also reached out to Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, which manages athletics on the 11th Street football field, to discuss safety measures and concerns. The city of Philadelphia owns those fields and not Temple University.
All of this is in addition to security improvements made prior to the semester, including increasing our foot patrols by police officers, upgrading nearly 500 security cameras, adding 18 cameras to Code Blue Phones, increasing stops to the Flight shuttle system, a new TUSafe safety app, and we're currently vetting gun detection and license plate reader equipment, which the campus has never had before. Additionally, since August 1, DPS has already hosted 33 safety discussions and events reaching over 3,000 individuals, in addition to over 40 new student orientations, residence life presentations, and Student Advisory Committee meetings. We are committed to working with our community to address gun violence and its impact and to create a safer environment through prevention, intervention, outreach, education and partnerships.
Vice President for Public Safety