More than half of calls TUPD respond to are off campus, do not involve Temple University students or faculty
“It just goes to show the connection and the commitment we have to the community, that we’re not just here to serve Temple,” said Vice President for Public Safety Jennifer Griffin.
On a recent brisk Thursday afternoon, Temple University’s Vice President for Public Safety Jennifer Griffin stopped into Philly Style Pizza and Grill, located just off campus on North Broad Street, to conduct a business check.
“It’s important that all businesses within the university’s patrol zone, whether they are on or off campus, feel safe,” Griffin said. “I enjoy getting to know employees and learning their needs. And they get to know me and other officers. It’s crucial in our effort to build a safer community.”
Griffin added that more than 50% of all calls Temple police officers respond to do not involve a student or faculty member and are not on Temple’s property.
“It just goes to show the connection and the commitment we have to the community, that we’re not just here to serve Temple,” Griffin said. “We’re here 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to help the Temple community and the surrounding neighborhoods equally.”
The Main Campus patrol zone stretches 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.
“Temple police officers respond to all kinds of calls for help within the patrol zone. We get everything from disturbance calls to vehicle crashes to shoplifting to thefts, as well as calls to help people who just need assistance," said Dr. Griffin.
She added that the relationship with the Philadelphia Police Department is important for the safety of students, staff, faculty and community members.
"We have a very strong, very collaborative relationship, so officers are responding to calls all day long together. We also have additional Philadelphia police officers that we pay to supplement our officers during the evening and night hours to maintain a visible police presence within the patrol zone,” Griffin said.
Griffin also shared she’s had multiple discussions with Philadelphia’s newly appointed police commissioner Kevin Bethel. Later this semester, Bethel and Griffin are expected to discuss ways that the two agencies will co-police Temple’s patrol zone and share resources.
“I’ve worked as a police officer for 24 years, and I’m extremely happy with our relationship and I look forward to continued partnership. When we need something we call, and it’s the same thing for them,” Griffin said.
Additionally, the Department of Public Safety is working towards accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). CALEA is a nonprofit organization that ensures public safety agencies are abiding by current best practices by continually self-evaluating policies and procedures to maintain compliance with over 450 applicable standards. CALEA conducts yearly reviews, with on-site inspections every four years.
“Getting accredited will raise the bar at Temple’s Department of Public Safety, and I’m confident we will achieve this,” Griffin said. “We are a police department of excellence.”
Video: FOX29 recently talked with Griffin about responding to calls off campus.