In response to the increase in gun violence near Main Campus, Temple University is auditing Campus Safety Services, establishing a violence reduction task force and launching a mobile safety app, wrote President Jason Wingard in an email to the Temple community Thursday morning.
Philadelphia reported a historic high of 559 homicides in 2021 and is already on track to surpass this record in 2022, with 38 homicides to date. Samuel Collington, a senior political science major, was fatally shot at Park Avenue near Susquehanna on Nov. 28, 2021.
Charles Ramsey, the former commissioner of the Philadelphia Police Department, will work with the university to audit Campus Safety Services. Ramsey previously co-chaired former President Barack Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, which Campus Safety Services referred to as the “gold standard” of modern policing when conducting its self-evaluation in 2020.
“Commissioner Ramsey’s expertise will be key to ensuring that we are on the right path,” Wingard wrote.
Wingard created a task force to guide Temple’s anti-violence research, which he hopes will keep parents and North Philadelphia residents engaged in Temple’s campus safety efforts.
On Feb. 14, Temple will roll out the RAVE Temple Guardian app for students to directly contact the university’s police department, including reporting suspicious activity and requesting physical or virtual escorts.
Temple is also increasing Campus Safety Services’ forces by 50 percent and expanding the availability of FLIGHT, the university’s shuttle service. During the Fall 2021 semester, FLIGHT struggled to keep up with increased student requests.
“Protecting our community is an ongoing process, but we are committed to ensuring that no one has to feel unsafe on Temple’s campus,” Wingard wrote.