Posted December 20, 2023

Temple University Department of Public Safety adds two new police officers

Meet the newest officers joining the patrol division on Temple’s Main Campus.

Two of Temple’s newest police officers graduate from the Philadelphia Police Academy.
Photography By: 
Matt Petrillo
From left to right: Amber James, associate director of organization administration; Chris Willard, director of tactics and professional development; Denise Wilhelm, executive deputy operations; Khaleef Fields, Temple police officer; Jennifer Griffin, vice president for public safety; Meagan Owen, Temple police officer; Michael Smith, deputy director of organizational affairs; Enoch McCoy, captain of patrol operations.

Temple’s Department of Public Safety welcomed its newest police officers at a swearing-in ceremony held at the Temple Performing Arts Center on Tuesday.

“Police officers Khaleef Fields and Meagan Owen will serve the Temple and north Philadelphia community well,” said Vice President for Public Safety Jennifer Griffin. “We’re proud to have them join our public safety team. These police officers are joining a dedicated and professional organization and will add to the excellence of Temple’s police department.”

The new officers went through nine months of patrol school at the Philadelphia Police Academy, where they learned about criminal law, defensive tactics, first aid, patrol procedures, investigations and more. 

“I’m proud of the department that we’re building and I look forward to working with police officers Fields and Owen. We are aggressively recruiting new and lateral officers to join our department to safeguard and continue to build strong relationships with the community,” Griffin said. 

Moving ahead, each officer will each be assigned a field training officer and will be receiving hands-on experience from them now through March before graduating to solo patrol.

Meet the Police Officers

Officer Khaleef Fields, a North Philadelphia native, grew up with his three brothers just a few blocks from Main Campus. He said becoming a police officer in the same North Philadelphia neighborhood is a full-circle moment.

“I want people to know that when people see me, that I’m someone they can call for help,” Fields said.

Fields graduated high school from TrueBright Science Academy Charter School and later attended Central Penn College before taking the step to pursue a career in law enforcement.

“I’ve always been passionate about giving back and service to others,” Fields said. “There’s no place I would rather do that than in my own backyard of North Philly.”

He enrolled in patrol school at the Philadelphia Police Academy in March. Now, as a sworn police officer, he’s excited to pound the pavement and patrol on Main Campus in the spring semester.

“This is all I’ve ever wanted to do, to serve the community and to leave an impact as I do it,” he said. “I’m very thankful and honored to serve the people.”

Officer Meagan Owen comes to the university from New York City, where she was previously an amateur boxer for ten years and delivery driver. While growing up in the Big Apple, she had many positive experiences with law enforcement, which influenced her decision to become a police officer. 

“I always enjoyed seeing cops stopping to talk and interact with my friends,” she said. “I was drawn to Temple’s Department of Public Safety because it prides itself in community policing.”

Owen added that she would like to work with the youth of North Philadelphia to start up a summer boxing program, saying those skills will always stay with her. 

She is also looking forward to furthering her education. Temple offers its employees 100% tuition remission for most courses.

“I want to learn to speak Spanish fluently, so that’s a goal of mine,” Owen said.

She also said she’ll wear the Temple Police badge with honor. She is now looking forward to getting to know students, staff, faculty and community members. 

“I had a lot of encouragement from my family telling me to become a police officer, because I’m a big protector," she said. “I want those who I will protect and serve in the Temple community to know that, too.”