Temple expands police-protection ring by 25 percent

Posted: September 05, 2014

Temple University will expand its police patrol borders by about 25 percent to improve coverage for students who live in off-campus housing, the university announced Wednesday.

The expansion encompasses about 20 square blocks around the university's North Philadelphia campus, increasing its total coverage area to about 100 square blocks, said Charles J. Leone, executive director of Campus Safety Services.

The move follows a string of violent attacks on Temple students that occurred one day last March in an area just beyond the Temple police patrol boundaries. In one of the attacks, a female Temple student was hit in the face with a brick. Three teenage girls were subsequently arrested and charged in the attacks. Next week, a judge will decide whether they will be tried as adults or juveniles, according to court documents.

The new patrol zone will extend to the west from 16th Street to 18th Street, while the eastern boundary will border Ninth Street, the northern boundary, Susquehanna Avenue, and the southern boundary, Jefferson Street. The March attacks occurred around 17th Street.

The new boundaries will form a square around the campus, Leone said.

"It's going to help us get more real-time information," he said. "If there are problems, we'll be able to jump on them right away and take care of the issue."

The university will bring on about a dozen more security officers to expand the patrol area, Leone said. The university employs 215 full-time sworn officers and staff and 250 security officers. The security officers do not carry weapons or have arrest powers.

Students, parents, and community members have been calling for more police protection as students began living in greater numbers around campus, especially to the west of Broad Street, he said.

"At least 4,000 to 5,000 are in that western area now," Leone said.

In the aftermath of the attacks last spring, the university held meetings with students, parents, faculty, staff, and local residents to discuss increasing security.

"That ramped up and moved our timeline a lot faster," Leone said.

The university tried out the new patrol area last weekend, finding mostly alcohol violations so far, Leone said.


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Staff writer Mike Newall contributed to this article.

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