While students are away, Department of Public Safety is hard at work to protect campus
Temple University police officers, dispatchers, detectives and security officers work 24/7, 365 days a year.
Temple’s Department of Public Safety doesn’t rest while more than 30,000 students, staff and faculty enjoy winter break. Temple’s police officers, detectives, dispatchers and security officers remain on the Main, Ambler, and the Health Sciences Center campuses, working at all hours to protect the campuses and the surrounding North Philadelphia community.
“When the students go home for break, we’re still here 24 hours a day, 365 days a year,” said Temple Police Officer Phillip Berry. “We’re doing our police duties, making sure buildings are secure, helping the community when needed and being available for services. There’s always someone here who can help.”
The Main Campus patrol boundaries stretch from Susquehanna Avenue on the north to Jefferson Street on the south, with the exception of 13th to Broad streets, where the southern boundary is Girard Avenue. The western border is 18th Street and the patrol area extends east to 9th Street.
Officer Berry went on patrol with Temple Police Officer Daniel Kornak on a recent chilly Thursday in the area of 17th and Montgomery streets, which is off campus but within the university’s patrol zone.
“We have a large patrol zone that falls within the university’s police jurisdiction,” said Officer Kornak. “We patrol several blocks off campus that are still within the patrol zone because many students live in the area. It’s important that they feel safe.”
When students are away for winter break, police officers continue to maintain their presence in the area.
“We respond to any calls for service in the university’s patrol zone,” said Vice President for Public Safety Jennifer Griffin. “So when students and faculty are away, you’ll still see officers on the streets patrolling to deter crime and provide support to the community, while our dispatchers are still answering the phones, monitoring our almost 1,500 cameras and dispatching officers to incidents, while our security officers are still staffing open buildings.”
Inside Temple’s Communications Center, which has a minimum of three dispatchers working every shift during break, it’s notably more quiet now than during the hustle and bustle of the semester, according to dispatch instructor Phylicia Rosario.
“There’s calm and quiet on Main Campus right now. Buildings are closed, but just about every day, faculty members want to get into their classrooms and offices on campus to catch up on work before the new semester,” she said. “So we’ll get called to send someone to unlock a building.”
Rosario also said that Temple University Hospital keeps dispatch busy. “No matter what time of the year it is, people still need medical services,” she said.
She added that she’s looking forward to students returning to campus.
“When the semester begins later this month, the call volumes will pick up and at times, the phones will ring off the hook,” Rosario said. “But that’s what we’re here for. We’re proud to serve.”