Temple University to Give Off-Campus Landlords Funding to Improve Student Safety
The program will give landlords of private residencies up to $2,500 for the installation of more security cameras and lighting.
PHILADELPHIA, Penn. — Officials at Temple University have revealed plans to improve student safety, including providing off-campus landlords with funding for added security.
Temple announced the new grant program Wednesday, less than two weeks after a campus survey found only 56% of students living off-campus feel safe in their surroundings, reports The Philly Voice.
“We see that students feel less safe as they get farther away from campus in the area where a lot of private housing is, and this is something that Temple does not have any control over,” said Jacob Golden, chief external services officer for Temple’s Student Government. “Off-campus landlords can do things like install more lighting, make sure locks work and make sure that every single unit in their building has a different lock. They need to do their part to make sure the apartments they offer are safe, so that is why they need to be a part of this discussion moving forward, too.”
The program will give landlords of private residencies up to $2,500 for the installation of more security cameras and lighting. Landlords must provide proof of ownership of a residence close to campus and detail how the funds will be used.
“For Temple’s part, we are considering all options to protect the safety of our students, faculty, staff, and neighbors in North Philadelphia,” said Temple CEO Ken Kaiser. “We have to be willing to continually think outside the box, and that is what we have done here with this grant program.”
The campus safety survey also found 69% of students agree or strongly agree that Temple is attentive to campus safety issues.
Temple has implemented other safety measures following an increase in violence on and near the main campus. On March 18, a 15-year-old boy was arrested after he allegedly opened fire on four girls inside a car near Temple’s campus. Both girls were shot but are expected to recover. In November, a 21-year-old student was fatally shot near campus.
Following the fatal shooting, in January, Temple released plans for safety improvements, including an audit of campus safety operations by former Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey. The audit is set to begin in early April. The school has also since doubled the amount of regular patrols around the campus and hired an additional 10 officers.
The university is also looking to establish a neighborhood watch program that will regularly patrol areas in and around the campus. The ambassadors will be trained in crime prevention to increase efforts made by TUPD and other officers, officials said.
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