Temple University’s Campus Safety Services will increase their force by 50 percent and work with the Philadelphia Police Department to increase off-campus patrol, President Jason Wingard announced to the Temple community Tuesday evening.
The announcement, which lists other measures aimed at enhancing campus safety, comes two days after Samuel Collington, a senior political science major, was fatally shot on Park Avenue near Susquehanna Sunday afternoon, The Temple News reported.
“Samuel was a beacon of hope who inspired his classmates and others to mobilize and take action to improve our community,” Wingard wrote. “To honor Samuel’s life of service and contributions, and those of others affected by violence, today I am announcing a series of actions that Temple University will undertake to enhance safety.”
Temple will host a virtual forum on Dec. 2 at 5 p.m. on Zoom to discuss their safety plans with parents, students and community members and have a conversation about campus safety, Wingard wrote.
The university will pursue establishing an institute focused on reducing violence, Wingard wrote.
Additionally, Temple will collaborate with city leaders to expand anti-violence initiatives for reducing shootings and homicides within North Philadelphia and citywide, Wingard wrote.
In response to the fatal shooting of an 18-year-old on Cecil B. Moore Avenue near 17th Street earlier this month, Campus Safety Services announced a series of safety measures on Nov. 17 including increasing Temple police and bike security patrol in certain areas, collaborating with Philadelphia Police to increase patrols and increasing social media and camera monitoring.
The university will also expand existing safety infrastructure by adding or upgrading lighting, cameras and emergency phones, Wingard wrote. Temple will increase the availability of FLIGHT, Temple’s shuttle service program, and improve the Walking Escort Program, which offers a security bike officer escort to students between the hours of 4 p.m. and 6 a.m., according to Campus Safety Services.
Temple also aims to instruct students on safe behaviors, work with civic, business and educational leaders to increase community safety, pursue federal and state safety resources and invest in programs that examine substance use disorders, trauma and violence reduction, Wingard wrote.
“We are committed to hearing feedback from our parents, students, and neighbors because we know there is more to do to enhance the safety of our community,” Wingard wrote.