Temple announces new steps to help keep students safe amid wave of violence

In recent weeks, concerned parents have hired private security near the North Philadelphia campus.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Temple University is continuing to ramp up efforts to keep its community safe amid a wave of gun violence in Philadelphia.

On Wednesday night, the university announced new steps to help curb the crime, including providing assistance to help students relocate to campus and a grant program that would help nearby homes install security cameras.

In recent weeks, concerned parents have hired private security near the North Philadelphia campus.

Jasmin Jackson, the owner of JNS Protection Services, said her company's role is to supplement the efforts of the Temple University Police Department by deterring crime and reporting any suspicious activity.

"We want to let them know we are there. We are there to work together," Jackson said.

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"It gives me peace of mind, and a lot of other parents peace of mind," said Jennifer Hedberg, whose child is a Temple student.

Late last year, the community was rocked by the murder of 21-year-old Samuel Collington, who was killed during a robbery near campus.

And just last week, Philadelphia police arrested a 15-year-old male after he allegedly opened fire on four girls inside a vehicle near Temple. Two victims were shot in the incident but are expected to survive. They were not students of the university.

According to Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Ken Kaiser, the university met with Mayor Jim Kenney and Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw this week to discuss a full spectrum of strategies to address the crisis of gun violence.

The university is also partnering with former Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey to audit campus safety. That is set to begin next month.

You can read more on the series of new steps being taken by the university below:

  • Security upgrade grant program: Any landlord in the area can apply for a grant of up to $2,500 that can be used for installing either lighting and/or cameras to improve security. To apply for a grant, landlords should contact securitygrants@temple.edu, provide proof of ownership of a neighboring residence and outline how the funds would be used. Reimbursement of up to $2,500 will be provided to all landlords with proof of installation.
  • Increased patrols: The university has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in overtime to ensure patrols meet or exceed all historic norms. 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.
  • Establishment of a neighborhood watch program: The university has begun discussions with neighborhood groups to establish a neighborhood watch program for the areas around campus. Through this new partnership, public safety ambassadors will regularly patrol through the neighborhoods in and around campus. Trained in crime prevention, these ambassadors will help amplify the efforts of the Temple University Police Department and the Allied Security Officers.
  • Housing on and near campus is available: The university will help students relocate to campus and can secure them housing for the remainder of the semester in either a university-owned residence hall or in a private complex near campus well within the university's patrol borders. There will be a bed available for any student who needs one.

SEE ALSO: 15-year-old who shot girls in car near Temple University tied to other shootings, police say
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A teenager who police say fired into an occupied car near Temple University is believed to be responsible for other shootings in the city.

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