NORTH PHILADELPHIA - A parent of a Temple University student is putting an investment in her student’s safety.
For the past week, JNS Protection Services has been doing foot and car patrols three days a week. Parent Jennifer Hedberg said this isn’t to step on the school’s toes, but they wanted to add another layer of security for nearby off-campus housing.
"It helps with peace of mind and I feel like if anything ever did happen to him, at least I’ll know I did everything I could," Hedberg explained. "I really get frustrated with prayer hand emojis and all I can do is pray and hope he’s okay. I do those things, but I also needed to do some kind of action."
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Hedberg said she’s been wanting to do more to keep her son safe ever since Temple student Sam Collington was killed.
"As the weeks and months went by, my son was reporting to me that there was still pretty serious crimes happening in his neighborhood," Hedberg stated. "My husband and I put our heads together and decided let’s see if we can get private security."
She connected with JNS Protection Services CEO Jasmine Jackson and hired them to do patrols in the areas near campus where a lot of students live and crimes were happening. The area is west of Broad Street and it does fall in the Temple Police patrol area.
A few weeks ago, Temple launched RAVE Temple Guardian, a safety mobile app for students, faculty and staff to connect with Temple University Police. Anyone can initiate a virtual safe walk with a guardian who will monitor as people walk to and from their destination. Temple also created a violence reduction task force and hired former Philly Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey to do a campus safety audit. They are also in the process of hiring and training more officers.
But that does take time and the hope is a private security firm will help to bridge the gap.
Hedberg said the contract she has is up in May when her son leaves school. She says other parents have reached out and offered to help keep it going.