Posted May 7, 2024

As spring semester closes, TUDPS works to makes community safer

Crime is down in Temple University’s patrol zone and many improvements are in place.

Photography By: 
Matt Petrillo
Temple police chief and Vice President for Public Safety Jennifer Griffin talked with students as they headed to class.

On a recent sunny afternoon while on patrol, Jennifer Griffin, police chief and vice president for public safety of Temple University’s Department of Public Safety (TUDPS), stopped by Playa Bowls, an eatery that specializes in acai bowls, along Liacouras Walk.

“Business checks increase safety by improving personal relationships between community members and law enforcement, which improves our ability to fight crime,” Griffin said.  

According to Griffin, TUPD’s increase of business checks are just one of several improvements made to public safety during this school year.

There have been several improvements to public safety on and around campus, according to an article published last month in The Philadelphia Inquirer titled “More than a year after a Temple police officer was shot and killed, where does the university’s safety stand?” The article stated that “Temple has added shuttle stops, extended walking escort service to 24 hours a day, updated over 400 security cameras.” Plus, Temple Police expanded bike and foot patrols.

The article also noted that aggravated assaults, robbery and auto theft in and around campus were down significantly in 2023 from 2022. 

The Temple community is noticing.  

“I’m not hearing the same frequency of concerns that we had a year ago for sure,” Jeffrey Doshna, president of Temple Association of University Professors, the faculty union, told The Inquirer.   

Ken Giunta, a Temple Family Council member whose daughter is a senior, also saw improvement.  

“I’m a lot more confident than I was,” said Giunta, a retired international policy researcher from Maryland. “Temple can’t solve the problem of urban crime ... But I think as a university it is doing everything it could and should be doing to keep students safe.”  

The decline in crime within the university’s patrol zone reflects the trend in the surrounding police district and the city as a whole, according to the article. Griffin said Temple Police are equipped with new handguns, long guns and radios, plus expanded bike and foot patrols.  

“Our police officers are proud to protect and serve the Temple community,” Griffin said. “There is no doubt that our commitment to improving the safety of the Temple community remains more laser-focused than ever.”

Students agree. Rohan Khadka, student government president, told The Inquirer,  “Dr. Griffin has been willing to come into any space to hear what students are saying.”

In fact, TUDPS meets monthly with its Students Safety Advisory Committee to keep an ear to the ground about the biggest issues facing students. The goal of the committee is to find solutions. Recently, it played an integral part in color-coding TUalerts.

“It’s important to have diverse perspectives,” Griffin said. “Today, bad incidents are magnified because of social media. But we’re doing the work and we’ll continue working with city and Philadelphia Police Department leadership to make campus and north Philadelphia a safer place for everyone.”