Throughout Temple’s decades-long transition from a commuter school to its current, more residential incarnation, Campus Safety Services has been forced to react to a change that’s resulted in students flocking to off-campus housing and major construction projects sprouting throughout the area.
As Ali Watkins writes on P. 1, part of that change has allowed CSS and the Philadelphia Police Department to collaborate on crime-stopping measures on and near Main Campus that have contributed to a nearly 19 percent drop in crime in 2013. This not only means good news for students who are a little safer near Temple because of this partnership, but represents progress for the men and women who are tasked with maintaining a safe environment near Temple.
Executive Director of CSS Carl Bittenbender said that before 2000 – when the two departments started the joint effort – a Philadelphia Police officer and Temple Police officer could be patrolling foot beats near each other and “neither would know what the other was doing.” Because of the partnership, this is no longer the case.
The Temple News has previously reported on the influx of Philadelphia Police officers that Temple pays for in the area west of Main Campus, a location where student residency is known to be quite high. While this increase in officers in general can dissuade crime, the efficiency and open lines of communication between the two departments is encouraging to students who rely on these officers every day.
Bittenbender remarked about previous CSS strategies, which included telling students where safe corridors were and what areas to avoid near Main Campus: “The whole place is a safe corridor now.” The progress made by CSS and the PPD in lowering crime in the area is striking and the partnership between the two departments continues to discourage criminals.