Temple University remains on high alert due to increased violence near campus

On Monday night, police said almost 70 gunshots were fired just blocks from the university.

Bryanna Gallagher Image
Wednesday, June 1, 2022
Temple remains on high alert due to increased violence near campus
Classes at Temple University are about to end for the summer, but the campus will remain on a heightened alert due to violent crime in the area.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- As Philadelphia continues to struggle with gun violence, two shootings within about a week of each other happened just blocks off of Temple University's campus.

University officials say just because it's summer does not mean they've cut back on patrols.

"Temple has safety as its number one priority. We still have the same level of supplemental police coverage from the Philadelphia police, which is 300 hours extra patrol per week, and the same number of Temple police officers," said Ken Kaiser, the senior vice president and chief operating officer of Temple University.

On May 19, five people were injured after gunfire rang out on the 1500 block of North Bouvier Street. More than 20 shots were fired.

SEE ALSO: 1 dead, 1 injured after nearly 70 gunshots fired in North Philadelphia

Authorities say nearly 70 gunshots rang out in the area of Oxford and Bouvier streets, just blocks away from Temple University.

"Last weekend, there was a shooting I think it was 10 minutes right before I left for work. We got the alert, but that could have been me," said Bay Wilson, a Temple student who lives off campus.

On Monday night, police said almost 70 shots were fired in the area of Oxford and Bouvier streets. The shooting claimed one man's life and critically injured another.

Students who live off campus recognize how bad the ongoing violence is across the city.

"There's nothing you really can do cause it's like you're living with the actual community and you're living on campus," said student Jill Bojakowski.

Many students who live off campus said they walk in groups, text their friends where they are going and avoid going out late at night. Many want something done about the gun violence.

"When you grew up in a city like this, you come accustomed to living a certain way. You come accustomed to accepting certain things, even your children do," said Sophia Coles who lives in North Philadelphia.

While violence can be seen on many city streets, Coles refuses to let her children think that's the answer to their problems.

"At the end of the night, I want my kids there. I want to go check on my kids and I want to know they are there," Coles said.

The city stands at 209 homicides so far this year.

As far as safety goes for students, Kaiser encourages all students who live off campus to take advantage of their escort program and shuttles. He said they are also working on a new initiative to help students, calling it the "best nest."

"Provide resources to students to make the best choices about off-campus housing, and that would include making sure the landlord is licensed, proper locks on doors, smoke detectors, trash receptacles. Everything for a landlord to make sure the property is as safe as can be and as good neighbor as can be," explained Kaiser.