Temple University releases findings, recommendations from independent public safety audit

The results of an audit examining public safety at Temple University have been released, revealing a need for improved community relations, assertive leadership and city-wide collaboration. 

According to the university's Public Safety Department, 21CP Solutions conducted an "external, independent review" of campus safety services from the Temple University Police Department. The audit was focused on internal procedures and the department's interaction with community partners. 

Officials at the university note the audit began in May 2022 under the leadership of former director Charles Leone, saying the findings pre-date the arrival of the current Vice President of Public Safety, Dr. Jennifer Griffin. 

To conduct the audit, 21CP reviewed the Temple University Police Department's policies and procedures, observed data on public safety and examined the police department's operations while engaging campus stakeholders from North Philadelphia and areas surrounding Temple. 


After extensive review, 21CP has created a series of recommendations and best practices for the department. 

"21CP's most general, but most critical recommendation, is that Temple must, modestly but with unflinching resolve, assert leadership and ensure that community members, Philadelphia stakeholders, and University community members alike come together and implement effective safety strategies - ones that promote police and residents, and University affiliates and community members, working together to co-produce public safety in North Philadelphia," the audit said. "Even where Temple does not have law enforcement authority or power, it has an interest in and must exert its influence toward ensuring safety." 

21CP says the following recommendations should be addressed immediately: 

  • Establish and sustain a safety partnership zone to make the North Philadelphia area within the site safer and a better place to live, work, and thrive
  • Create a task force comprised of representatives from the university, city, the Philadelphia Police Department, the District Attorney's Office and other state and federal law enforcement agencies. This should be done in an effort to coordinate strategies and tactics, ensuring safety resources are aligned.

The audit comes months after Temple University Police Officer Sgt. Chris Fitzgerald was shot and killed in the line of duty while patrolling the area alone. The Temple University community and Philadelphia were left shaken by his death, which came at a time when crime on and around campus directly impacted the quality of life. In addition to the crime, former university President Jason Wingard resigned weeks ago after concerns from the school's board. 

At FOX 29's Mayoral Debate, hosted on the Temple University campus, students asked the city's mayoral candidates what they plan to do to make the area safer for students. 

Temple University says safety is the institution's highest priority and that it has made "measurable progress" in several areas, including engagement with the Philadelphia Police Department, the implementation of new safety infrastructure enhancements, expanded efforts to provide services to local businesses owners, the addition of eight new Temple police officers and the launch of a new public safety website among other things. 

The full audit from 21CP Solutions can be read here