Temple University will increase security measures following the shooting death of a student near campus last week.
Temple senior Samuel Sean Collington, who was set to graduate in the spring, suffered fatal gunshot wounds during an attempted robbery near the North Philadelphia campus, Temple University wrote in a statement. Philadelphia has eclipsed its all-time record for most homicides in a year, with 512 as of Dec. 1, according to police data.
In a statement earlier this week, Temple President Jason Wingard pledged to immediately increase the Temple campus safety force by 50% and work with the Philadelphia Police Department to increase their presence off campus. Wingard wrote that the university will also collaborate with city leaders to expand anti-violence initiatives to reduce shootings and homicides in North Philadelphia and across the city and hold a forum for parents, students, and community members to have a dialogue about the changes.
Temple also plans to implement long-term changes to increase student safety such as: adding and upgrading lighting, cameras, and emergency phones and increasing the availability of the FLIGHT shuttle service, according to the statement. Wingard wrote that Temple also plans to implement improvements to the walking escort program, organize instruction for students on safe behaviors, and expand work with leaders in Philadelphia to reduce violence.
Wingard wrote that the gun violence crisis is growing and requires collaborative effort across civic and business interests to stop its spread. Philadelphians petitioned Mayor Jim Kenney to address a resolution on gun violence earlier this year.
Several Philadelphia-based organizations, including the Penn Injury Science Center, have partnered to address a rise in gun violence in West and Southwest Philadelphia. The collaboration, called the West/Southwest Collaborative Response to Gun Violence, was created in October 2021.