TUPD officer-veterans reflect on what it means to serve ahead of Veterans Day
Temple’s Department of Public Safety staff includes more than a dozen veterans. Now, they’re sharing lessons they’ve learned from their service.
Temple Police Sgt. Kamari Boone is one of more than a dozen members of the Department of Public Safety who have proudly served in the U.S. military.
“When it came down to just helping people, that’s what I wanted most of all out of serving the military and out of being a cop,” Boone said. “That’s what I wanted most of all. To help.”
Prompted by the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Boone joined the U.S. Army, for which he still serves in a reserve role as a staff sergeant.
“I signed up because I wanted to see things outside of Philadelphia. The world is much bigger than what we can actually see,” he said.
Boone got the chance to see the world quickly after he finished basic training. He almost immediately got his first orders that he was being deployed to Iraq, where he served for about 15 months, including Kuwait and Fallujah.
After other deployments, like to Egypt and beyond, Boone returned home to Philadelphia and decided to join the Temple University Police Department because, “Being that I’m from the neighborhood, I felt like I could have a greater impact here on the youth.”
Now, as a sergeant with the Temple University Police Department, he’s helping students, staff and the community every day with lessons he learned from his military service.
“I grew up two blocks from my headquarters here in North Philadelphia,” he said. “To be able to stop certain crimes from happening to the community here that I serve here, it’s rewarding, big time.”
Officer Christopher Peralta standing on campus in uniform.
Temple Police Officer Christopher Peralta is one of the department’s newest police officers; the Philadelphia native is also a U.S. army reservist and brings with him several years of military experience.
“It changed me a lot,” he said. “Honestly, I always wanted to be in the military. When I found out that I could do it part time and also be a police officer, it’s the best of both worlds.”
Veterans Day is important to Peralta because it honors all those who served honorably in the military—in wartime or peacetime.
“We wouldn’t have what we have today if it wasn’t for our veterans. So when people say, ‘Thank you for your service,’ it feels like I’m appreciated. And it feels like I’m making a difference in the community,” Peralta said.
He also said he’s proud to serve the Temple community because “we’re bridging the gap between students and community.”
Peralta plans to pursue a degree in criminal justice as a part-time student. He believes that learning inside the institution he’s serving will provide him with better insight into the community, which he proudly serves and protects.
“It feels good to give back to this country when it has given so much to my family,” he said.
Vice President for Public Safety Jennifer Griffin added that the Temple Police Department is a perfect work environment for military members looking for a career that allows them to serve their community closer to home.
“We are extremely proud of the military members who serve the Temple community as they bring with them a wealth of experience. My father, sister, several uncles and both of my grandfathers served active duty and our family has a very deep military connection. We honor our military members who are pivotal to making campus safer for students, staff and faculty,” Griffin said. “We thank each and every one this Veterans Day, and their families for the sacrifices they endure to safeguard our community, and communities around the world.”