Condolences pour in following the passing of longtime Temple University Police Officer Eileen Bradley
Eileen Bradley was one of the first women police officers at Temple and served the community for 50 years.
The Temple community is remembering the life of Eileen Bradley ’72, a retired captain with the Temple University Police Department (TUPD) and a treasured figure on campus. She passed away last Friday.
“She was impossible not to love,” said Colin Saltry, FOX ’12, LAW ’16, who’s now a practicing attorney in Philadelphia. “She was such a distinctive figure and was a larger-than-life presence.”
Colin Saltry, FOX ’12, LAW ’16, stands with Cpt. Bradley. (Contributed photo)
Bradley was Temple Made, earning her degree in 1972 before she went on to proudly serve the Temple community for five decades. She joined TUPD as its first woman officer and most recently served as project coordinator for the Department of Public Safety’s engagement unit.
“You could not have gone to a Temple-sponsored event and miss her,” said Saltry.
“She believed in uplifting and empowering both the community and Temple,” said Temple Police Officer Leroy Wimberly, who worked closely with Bradley during her last seven years on campus. “Captain Bradley was a true leader and very committed to her work. She had a passion for making the campus and community a better place.”
Members of the Temple and North Philadelphia communities have been paying their respects by stopping by a mural displayed at Temple Public Safety’s police station near Broad Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue that features several photos of Bradley. While the photos show her interacting with different people—community members, Temple police officers and schoolchildren—each photo shows the statuesque Bradley wearing a big, friendly smile topped with her signature curly red hair. Those who knew her well say her hair was almost as big as her personality.
Cpt. Eileen Bradley often visited neighborhood schools and senior centers. (Contributed photo)
“She wasn’t somebody who would take no for an answer. When she believed in something, she was passionate about it. And she believed in her work,” Wimberly said.
Cpt. Eileen Bradley was Temple Made, earning her degree in 1972 before she went on to proudly serve the Temple community for five decades. (Contributed photo)
Bradley made it her mission to build a symbolic bridge that connects Temple with the North Philadelphia community, Wimberly said. She helped complete a community mural and garden on Bouvier Street back in 2015 to replace what was a vacant lot. She often visited neighborhood schools and senior centers. And, she knew how to throw a party.
Bradley created Temple Public Safety’s annual holiday party in 1996 to connect with the North Philadelphia community, which is still held annually.
“She wanted to show that Temple supports the community, and she wanted to give back to the community,” Wimberly said. “She considered the kids growing up in the community near Temple to be her kids.”
The holiday party has grown over the years. It now offers food, gifts and fun to more than 500 children each year. This year’s holiday party will be held on Sunday, Dec. 17, at the Liacouras Center.
“This year’s party will be held in honor of Captain Bradley,” said Wimberly. “What she has built, we know that we have to keep it going and make it bigger and better. So when she’s looking down at us, she’s smiling. Her work will not be forgotten, and she will not be forgotten.”
Cpt. Eileen Bradley created Temple Public Safety’s annual holiday party in 1996. (Contributed photo)
“Eileen’s love for the university and our department is well-known, and she was exceptionally well-regarded within the community for her consistent, passionate and selfless service,” said Vice President for Public Safety Jennifer Griffin. “Eileen was a friend, colleague and beloved mentor to so many within the department.”
The Temple community will be celebrating the life of Bradley on Friday, Dec. 8th. Visitation is from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. at St. Malachy's Church, 1429 N. 11th St., Philadelphia. You can also watch live here.