Edward Woltemate said he feels like a sponge.
Woltemate, a former lieutenant who spent 23 years working in the Philadelphia Police Department, started his job at Campus Safety Services in July. He said he is still learning his way around campus and getting used to all the technology used by Campus Police.
Eventually, he will fill the shoes of Capt. Robert Lowell and run investigations.
“You can never replace a guy like Bob Lowell,” Woltemate said. “[Detectives and officers] come in and they look right to him.”
Lowell is currently in the process of retiring, after serving Temple’s police force for nearly 27 years. He will be working as a consultant with Campus Safety Services.
Lowell joins special events and services Capt. Eileen Bradley, who retired in June after serving Temple for 35 years. Bradley will also continue to work with Temple in a limited capacity.
“He has a lot of experience in investigations,” said Carl Bittenbender, executive director for Campus Safety Services.
The educational, financial and family values of Temple are what attracted Woltemate to the university, along with the fact that he would see a few familiar faces. He worked with Bittenbender, Campus Safety Services Operations Manager Michael McFall and Temple’s Vice President of Operations William Bergman during his time with the city’s police department.
Woltemate spent five years in the 35th District of the PPD in Olney, where he was promoted to sergeant.
Soon after, he earned the title of lieutenant after spending six years in the communications department.
Woltemate then returned to patrol in the Sixth District in Center City. In 1999, he was transferred to internal affairs, where he worked until he began his new position at Temple.
“I had a great career there,” Woltemate said. “I wasn’t dissatisfied with the city, but I had been there 23 years and the opportunity came along. It was investigations, too, so it was a nice move.”
“I think he’s the right fit for Temple because he cares about young people,” Bergman said. “He’s just really smart, very bright, understands people’s problems and always keeps the needs of people in mind as he goes about his job.”
Woltemate’s 20-year-old son, the oldest of his three children, recently transferred to Temple as well, just before Woltemate knew of the position.
Woltemate, who was born and raised in Philadelphia, said he chose Temple because he still wanted to work in law enforcement in the city.
As he learns the ropes, he said he’s impressed with the technology used by Campus Police, the dedication of the officers and by how safe campus is.
“Getting to know the campus is a big thing,” he said. “[During] move-in week, I got to see all the residence halls. Every day, we had support and contingency [set up]. I was impressed with that. All the officers are so knowledgeable.”
Though Woltemate relies on the help of his fellow officers and detectives from time to time, he said he’s just scratched the surface of all the information he expects to learn.
He admits to being a little nervous, but not as nervous as he felt during his first few weeks.
“Each day, I get more and more comfortable,” Woltemate said. “I don’t plan on leaving [Temple] anytime soon.”
Morgan Zalot can be reached at email@example.com.