Temple provides updates on crime incidents, TUalert changes

The university unveiled changes to its TUalert system and announced a new communications role.

Ten Temple Police officers have left the department since the beginning of the academic year. | THE TEMPLE NEWS / FILE

Jennifer Griffin, Temple University’s vice president of public safety, outlined current safety plans and introduced new campus improvements and initiatives in a message to the Temple community on Monday.

Griffin provided updates on recent crime incidents and safety initiatives, like auditing cameras and lighting, while reminding students of using existing campus safety resources, including the RAVE Temple Guardian App, walking escorts and FLIGHT.

She also highlighted Campus Safety Service’s monthly CompStat meetings, which discuss statistics and crime reduction strategies, and executive leadership meetings between the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Philadelphia Police Department and Campus Safety leadership.

“I’m grateful for our police officers, security officers, communications professionals, and the university leadership and teams who have worked diligently through winter break to increase safety and collaborate with Campus Safety,” Griffin wrote. 

Griffin will speak at town halls hosted by Temple Student Government in January and February where she’ll join Temple President Jason Wingard and Student Body President Gianni Quattrocchi to answer student questions about safety concerns. The first town hall will take place at Temple Performing Arts Center on Jan. 23 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. 

Here are some of the campus safety updates for this semester:

Recent Campus Safety Initiatives

The university has audited more than 1,000 cameras and plans to add more, including at several Code Blue phones on Temple’s Main and Health Sciences Campuses, and replace ones in need of repair.

Campus Safety Services has met with University Housing and Residential Life to address dorm safety, which includes reviewing personnel and security training protocol and technology features in dorms aimed at keeping students safe, Griffin wrote. 

Campus Safety has also inspected and increased lighting in areas around the Independence Blue Cross Student Recreation Center, Pearson and McGonigle Halls, 15th Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue and the walkway from 16th and Berks Streets to 15th Street.

Safety Communications

Temple will hire a director of messaging and communications, a new position tasked with assisting Campus Safety Services in its messaging strategy. Griffin also announced the creation of four advisory committees composed of students, employees, parents, neighbors, business communities and law enforcement that Campus Safety plans to collaborate with throughout the semester. 

Campus Safety Services is also improving the Campus Safety website and exploring platforms or dashboards to track their goals and strategies.

The university will also change the TUalert system due to a recent ruling from the Federal Communications Commission. Alerts will now begin with “TUalertEMER,” wrote Nicola Mammes, Temple’s emergency management director, in an announcement Tuesday.

Crime Updates

Griffin also updated the Temple community on multiple incidents that occurred before Winter Break, including an arson case that occurred on Nov. 15, three home invasion cases between Nov. 9 and Nov. 21 and two armed robberies by the same perpetrator between Dec. 8 and Dec. 11.

Arrests were made in all of the cases, Griffin wrote. One person of interest was arrested and charged with two of the three home invasions, and since his arrest, there have been no other home invasions.

Temple Police also took a suspect into custody that matched the description of the armed street robberies. There have been no additional robberies in the area matching the subject’s description since the arrest, Griffin added. 

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