Temple University shares security enhancements amid spate of gun violence

Days after Temple's police union reported that it's facing a staffing crisis that has impacted campus safety, university officials announced a number of safety enhancements in response to a spate of recent shootings. 

"For Temple’s part, we are considering all options to protect the safety of our students, faculty, staff and neighbors in North Philadelphia," Temple University Chief Operating Officer Ken Kaiser said. "We have to be willing to continually think outside the box, and that is what we have done here with this grant program."

In a statement posted to Temple's website, the university said the Temple Police Department will increase patrols. They've also started discussions about a neighborhood watch program. 

Landlords can apply for a $2,500 grant that can be used for installing either lighting and/or cameras to improve security. 

Temple University's police union this week said they are operating at 60% normal capacity and officers have had to work roughly 42 overtime shifts since last summer.

On Monday, the union said on its Facebook page that it "cannot perform adequate community policing techniques that we have done in the past to reduce crime in the community." 

In response, Temple University said 113 applicants are awaiting review for police academy training. Campus Safety Services hopes to place 12 potential officers into an upcoming police academy class. 

"Through the new officers that have been hired as well as the increased Philadelphia Police Department supplemental patrols, the university has more than doubled the number of officers actively patrolling the patrol zone at any given time," Temple said. 

This comes as the Philadelphia Police Department shared new information about a recent shooting on Temple's during which investigators believe a 15-year-old gunman opened fire on a car full of teenage girls. 

Temple said authorities responded to the shooting within 90 seconds of the shooting. 

"The increased campus safety presence is making a difference," Temple said.



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