Posted December 12, 2023

The Department of Public Safety honored with North Broad Renaissance Award

Temple University’s vice president for public safety accepted the North Broad Renaissance Award on behalf of the department, crediting several new safety initiatives and the hard work of Temple police officers, dispatchers, security officers and administrative staff.

Vice President for Public Safety Jennifer Griffin accepted the North Broad Renaissance Award on behalf of the department.
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Vice President for Public Safety Jennifer Griffin accepted the North Broad Renaissance Award on behalf of the department.

Temple University’s Department of Public Safety (DPS) was honored with the North Broad Renaissance Award at the annual State of North Broad event last week. 

“We were recognized for our collaboration and community work,” said Temple’s Vice President for Public Safety Jennifer Griffin, who proudly accepted the North Broad Renaissance Award on behalf of DPS. “Temple police officers, dispatchers, security officers and administrative staff work hard every day to make the North Philadelphia community a safer place to live, work and learn, and the award just goes to show that the North Philadelphia community is feeling the effects of our dedication to improving the quality of life here for everyone.”  

The award is presented by a North Philadelphia-based nonprofit organization called the North Broad Renaissance. Its mission seeks to revitalize the community, create opportunities and improve the overall quality of life along North Broad Street, which it called one of Philadelphia’s most prominent corridors. 

Executive Director of the North Broad Renaissance Shalimar Thomas said of DPS: "Their dedication and selflessness are truly inspiring to our organization as we work to revitalize the North Broad corridor in a manner that supports clean and safe communities and improves the overall quality of life for all who live, work, and play along the corridor."

Griffin also credited several new safety initiatives that she believes are having a positive impact on campus and within the university’s patrol zone.

Public Safety now has access to about 140 additional security cameras that are located within the university’s patrol zone and managed by the Philadelphia Police Department after both parties signed an agreement earlier this semester. 

“We’ve always shared footage for investigative purposes. But now, we have direct access, so the video can be seen right into our Communications Center, where our dispatchers monitor almost 1,500 cameras 24 hours a day, 365 days a year,” said Griffin.

Temple’s new TUSafe app had more than 4,500 downloads during the current fall semester, which is more than twice as many compared to the number of downloads of the university’s previous safety app during the fall semester of 2022. 

“We are happy that the Temple community has embraced this important safety resource, and we encourage everyone to download it and become familiar with its capabilities,” said Griffin. 

Additionally, for the first time, Public Safety operates on a new 12-hour shift schedule created for police officers, which has increased the number of Temple police officers patrolling within the university’s patrol zone. 

“Police work is a high-stress profession, and the new 12-hour shifts give police officers more time to rest, recharge and recover,” said Griffin.

Griffin also recently became a Pennsylvania sworn law enforcement officer in an effort to build a stronger bridge between Temple and the North Philadelphia community. She has increased training for police officers; beefed up the department’s social media presence; purchased new safety vests, guns and vehicles for police officers; bought new monitors for dispatchers who work in the Communications Center; launched a new hiring campaign, which is still accepting applications for police officers until Dec. 15th; and stepped up foot patrols. 

“During the fall semester, Temple Public Safety launched a new policy called Park and Walks, which have permanently increased foot patrols on and around campus,” she said.

The launch of Park and Walks was reported by several news outlets, including CBS Philadelphia, which reported “about 130 additional hours of foot patrols have increased every month.”

DPS has also participated in more than 60 events and reached over 6,000 students, staff, faculty and community members just this semester. 

“And we’re just getting started,” Griffin added. “The team and I are currently working on several new initiatives to enhance safety. We’re looking forward to rolling those out next semester.”