PHILADELPHIA PA June 16 2022– The head of Temple University’s police union says the department’s morale is at “an all-time low” due to staffing issues that have left officer feeling burned out.
The union says it has 63 active officers on the street when it should have closer to 100. The shortage comes at a time when the North Philadelphia community that includes and surrounds Temple University is embattled by gun violence.
The union took to Twitter last weekend to call out Temple President Jason Wingard for his lack of help in developing a safety plan that includes adequate staffing.
Just two weeks ago, Temple police responded to a crime scene near campus where roughly 70 shots were fired.
“Put something in place, some sort of plan of action to start trying to tackle the violent crime we are seeing day-in and day-out in our patrol zone and unfortunately no communication back,” Alec Shaffer told FOX 29.
Temple university Senior Vice President Ken Kaiser says that the department was slightly short-staffed over the weekend because a few officers were completing annual training. The university says It’s aggressively trying to hire officers.
Meanwhile, some Temple University students believe campus safety is holding up despite the lack of manpower on Temple’s staff.
“It’s just outside the campus grounds that it can be a little bit iffy,” Phd student Anway Bose said.
In a statement, Kaiser added that the university is supplementing the campus safety department “through 288 weekly hours of Philadelphia Police Department supplemental patrols, which is triple the number of patrols that we had at the start of the fall 2021.”
The Temple Police Association is actively negotiating a new contract with the university, which includes asking for better wages and benefits to be able to attract and retain more officers.