To the University Community:
Improving the quality of life at Penn is a continuing priority of this Administration. A safe and secure campus environment is integral to achieving a better quality of life. If we cannot provide a safe environment, we will be unable to attract and retain the most talented faculty, students and staff.
Last September President Rodin and I appointed Tom Seamon as Managing Director of Public Safety. Our charge to Tom was to build nothing less than the best Public Safety system on an American university campus. We further asked him to do this within the existing operating resources allocated by Penn for its safety and security programs, taking into account that certain one-time capital investments would be needed, primarily for state-of-the-art technology and facilities. Penn has not under invested in safety and security: we spend some $14 million annually on these programs, about half of which is attributable to Public Safety's operating budget. The challenge is to strategically manage these resources, so the University receives the highest return on its investment.
Tom's response is the Public Safety Strategic Plan, presented in this issue of Almanac. The plan is a major step toward the realization of President Rodin's and my goals for a safe and secure campus. Its approach is to look at public safety from a holistic perspective: Police, Security Services, Community and Government. We will need to galvanize the entire Penn community behind this Strategic Plan if we are to create a safer, more secure campus environment. The stakes are too high to commit to anything less.
John A. Fry
Executive Vice President
Comment may be sent in writing to:
Division of Public Safety
3914 Locust Walk
or by e-mail to seamon@A1.police
The full report including appendices is available upon request from the Divison of Public Safety.
By Thomas M. Seamon
Managing Director, Division of Public Safety
Achieving this goal is, in part, dependent on whether Penn's campus is considered a safe and desirable place to live, work, study, and recreate. The Public Safety Division must contribute to the University's overall goals by providing first class police services, security services, and safety education.
It must also help to leverage service for the University from the Philadelphia Police Department, other city departments, and with the Office of Government, Community and Public Affairs, help improve Penn's relationship with the broader West Philadelphia community.
Working in collaboration with the Office of Government, Community and Public Affairs, the Public Safety Division must help lead a discussion of what it means to have a safe and secure university community in an urban setting. Philadelphia is an exciting and vibrant venue because it is different from the suburban, rural, and international settings from which many of Penn's students, faculty, and staff originate. The University cannot and should not seek to create a "walled off" environment in the midst of its urban diversity. It should strive to reduce crime and the perception of crime to the lowest possible levels, while at the same time being realistic that it cannot be held solely accountable for the off-campus environment. Personal responsibility for one's own safety will always be a primary factor in Penn's safety and security strategy.
Penn has made great strides in the last two years in ensuring the campus is as safe and secure as possible. Some of the improvements have been an increased security guard force, expansion of the blue light phone system, the creation of community walks, bicycle patrols, an expanded transportation system, and emphasis on substantial crime prevention and victim support services.
These gains in safety and security will be expanded and modified predicated on an overarching philosophy of community policing. Community policing traditionally is defined as a philosophy whereby the police adopt a service orientation regarding everyone who lives, works and visits their area, and they regard all of these people as their valued customers. Through a heavy reliance on problem solving techniques the police, recognizing their resources are finite and the demand for resources infinite, enter into a partnership with their customers to prioritize the use of these resources.
This traditional concept of community policing will be tested in new ways at Penn in that the population is very diverse with constant turnover and, in addition to the principles stated, there will be a heavy emphasis on the police coordinating their efforts with security technology and personnel. The closest possible synergy must be created between these two distinct but complimentary groups, the police and private security.
Development of this strategic plan has included the review of many plans and proposals made by committees and individuals at Penn, addressing public safety at the University over the years. The expertise of University of Pennsylvania Police Department (UPPD) staff, and others in the Public Safety Division have been sought. The author has also drawn on over 26 years' experience with the Philadelphia Police Department, some of it spent policing the area around Penn, and significant study and work in the private security arena.
Taking into account all of the valuable work done in the past to improve security at Penn, as well as important input from concerned staff and interested parties, a number of primary goals, have been developed.
The goals to improve public safety at Penn fall under the general areas of Police, Security, Government, and Community.
Achieving these four goals will be essential to the continued success of the Public Safety Program at Penn.
The campus occupies a large portion of Philadelphia's 18th Police District. The district is one of the more active in the city, recording 6,297 Part 1 crimes in 1995. The campus recorded 1,374 Part 1 crimes in 1995. What is truly significant, notwithstanding the low number of crimes on campus compared to the wider area, is the fact that of the 1,374 recorded campus crimes, only 58 (or 4.2%) of the total were crimes against persons. The rest were property crimes.
Statistics and observation reflect that the campus is a safe place, both in actual numbers of incidents and relative to the larger area of West Philadelphia and the entire city. Why then do so many students and employees believe the campus is unsafe?
The answer lies in the perception of people on campus and the expectations many of those people have of the University. To many on campus, the urban experience is new. Large numbers of people, heavy and noisy traffic, dirty streets and sidewalks, the homeless, and a large number of vendors translate to a perception of crime or at least an uneasiness about their environment. In addition, the Philadelphia news media, especially television news, reports a daily litany of crime stories.
There is an expectation by some that all crime can be eradicated from the campus, and that any crime committed is a failure by the police or other security services. While zero crime on campus is an admirable goal, in reality, it will never be achieved in the urban environment.
What the University and the Public Safety Division in particular can do is work diligently with the media outlets to give a true sense of proportion to crime incidents and trends that actually occur. In addition to its efforts to prevent and detect crime, the Public Safety Division also must work to improve the quality of campus life and deal with the daily incivilities that contribute so much to the perception of crime.
This means the University Police must work with government, private agencies, and other University departments to develop a control strategy for panhandlers and the homeless, bring order to the chaotic and potentially dangerous street vendor situation on campus, and clean up the streets and sidewalks. In addition, better traffic control and safety can be achieved, nuisance bars can be shuttered, and the police can help to provide an attractive environment and coordinate services with the rest of the University in order to attract quality retailers, dining, and convenience businesses.
The very successful experience of the Philadelphia Police Department working with the Center City District in improving downtown Philadelphia provides a blueprint for what can be achieved at Penn. That model has the public police working in a close, cooperative partnership with private security and business improvement planners and marketers.
Community policing is not the "grin and wave squad," nor is it something to be practiced only by selected specialists within the Department. Community policing is not soft on crime. The present outward manifestations of community policing are footbeats, bicycle patrols, mini-stations, victim assistance officers, crime prevention officers, and the like. These strategies to pursue community policing will necessarily change over time in response to changing community conditions. What will remain constant is that everyone in the Penn Police will adopt the community policing philosophy, and the core of the philosophy will be a commitment to do whatever is necessary to increase the quality of life for the University's customers.
The sworn and civilian members of the organization are as qualified, and in many instances more qualified, than their counterparts in the Philadelphia Police Department. This is as it should be, since the environment in which they operate may be more demanding than the environment faced by the average city police officer.
It is obvious that the UPPD must subscribe to the highest standards of professionalism. It must work in unison with the private security initiatives and technology being introduced on campus. It must further develop the necessary cooperative relationship with the Philadelphia Police Department. UPPD's working situation (in an open urban campus) requires it to build relationships with the larger West Philadelphia community in addition to its responsibility to the campus community.
An additional challenge to the Department is to provide the required law enforcement and security services to the Penn community in a manner that ensures the campus remains an open community committed to the ideal of free expression. UPPD officers must be tolerant to a fault and yet provide protection to the young adults entrusted to the University's care.
While the UPPD provides good service at the operational level, the administrative area of the organization has not kept pace as the organization has evolved. The current structure invests most responsibility for operations and administration in the Chief of Police.
This structure forces the Chief to choose between handling pressing operational matters and dealing with administrative tasks. Because policing is our primary responsibility, the result is that the administrative systems of the organization have not received the proper attention. Unless this problem is addressed, Public Safety will be unable to upgrade its professional status, or meet the challenges posed by the necessary introduction of new technology.
The present organization of the University Police department places a significant burden on the Chief of Police. The position as presently configured is responsible for all operations of the Department as well as much of the administration. An Administration Manager of Records (Police Lieutenant) also handles many administrative tasks. This position reports nominally to the Managing Director, but deals on a daily basis with the Chief.
Operationally, the Department performs well, however the administrative management needs to be improved. The result of the present managerial configuration is that many of the administrative systems within the organization do not receive the necessary attention they require. These include: a new communications system; an updated reports control and records management system; closer interface with Philadelphia Police information systems; redesigned computer information systems; improved training and career development systems; and national accreditation.
The organization charts in Appendix C illustrate a redesign of the senior management structure of the UPPD. The Chief of Police position will be eliminated. A Director of Operations will oversee the patrol and investigative functions, while a Director of Administration will oversee all administrative and training functions. These two positions will be of equal rank reporting directly to the Managing Director. In the event of the absence of the Director of Operations for any reason, the Director of Administration would assume direct operational command of the Police Department. This would provide operational coverage and is standard procedure for most law enforcement organizations.
The UPPD Detective Unit consists of one detective supervisor and four detectives. In 1994 the unit handled 1670 cases. This is an extremely heavy caseload for a unit this size. Much of their time is spent documenting incidents and classifying and reclassifying crime reports. They have little time available to actually investigate cases.
A well-trained, well-directed, and proactive detective unit can provide significant and crucial services to the University. The unit should have the ability to conduct detailed investigations into serious crimes, investigate internal theft and fraud, and conduct special investigations at the request of senior managers of the University.
The Philadelphia Police Department has many fine investigative units of a general and specialized nature, however, the demands on their resources are enormous. The University needs a strong investigative unit to provide the priority service that it requires.
Presently, a University-affiliated person who becomes a victim of a serious crime on or nearby campus is transported to the Southwest Detective Division at 55th and Pine Streets. The victim, because of the high detective workload, may wait a considerable period of time for service. Once the case is assigned to a detective, he/she will have limited time to pursue the case due to the very heavy workload of serious crime in the larger West/Southwest Philadelphia area.
This theme of limited capacity of the Philadelphia Police carries over into scenarios of an armed robbery team or serial rapist operating on or near the campus. The Philadelphia Police Detectives will do everything possible with their resources; however, the University would be better served with a sufficient number of well-trained investigators who make crime at Penn their sole priority. Research and practical experience have shown that serious felons will strike an area with alarming frequency until good investigators can identify, locate, arrest, and prosecute them.
The University's overriding concern for the safety of its students and employees will not be satisfied with the priority of service the Philadelphia Police Detectives have the capacity to provide. Therefore, the University must increase its own capacity to provide investigative services.
The level of internal crime committed by employees and students on campus is also of concern. The Philadelphia Police have limited interest in this problem, mandating an improved capability of the UPPD to investigate and deal with issues of internal theft, fraud, and employee and student disputes.
The University also requires the services of sufficient competent investigators to protect it from liability arising from, and actions due to, accidents, hazardous conditions, and negligent actions of employees.
To upgrade the capabilities and service level of the UPPD Detective Unit the following program should be implemented:
Increase the staffing level from one supervisor and four detectives to one supervisor and eight detectives. This will enable the detective unit to extend the hours of coverage and lighten the caseload on each detective. At least two of the additional detectives should be very experienced investigators brought in from outside the University. They should have extensive experience in working with Philadelphia Police and state and federal investigative agencies. These veteran detectives would act as trainers for the UPPD Detectives and help strengthen the liaison with all of the federal and local agencies in the area.
Provide specialized training to the detectives through formal training courses, field training conducted by the senior investigators mentioned above, and short-term assignments to work with Philadelphia Police and other investigative units.
Revamp the case screening and case management systems to ensure the detectives are expending their time and resources in the most productive manner.
Upgrade the investigative equipment available including access to pertinent Philadelphia-area computerized databases.
The informal daily working relationship between UPPD officers and Philadelphia Police officers is excellent. However , the formal relationship between the two organizations is not structured to provide the maximum effectiveness and efficiency for both departments.
The UPPD needs to invest in a Philadelphia Crime Information Center (PCIC) computer terminal. This would electronically join the UPPD with all of the various districts, divisions, and units of the Philadelphia Police Department, across the city. The University Police would have "real time" access to all pertinent area law enforcement information. In addition, the University Police would have the capability to send reports electronically to all West Philadelphia police installations instead of hand delivering reports to the 18th District or Southwest Detective Division.
The ability to participate in the city's computerized information network would also open the door for the UPPD to be recognized as a police district for reporting purposes. This would eliminate erroneous dual reporting of crime and incidents by both police agencies and, even more importantly, would make it less likely that a reported crime or incident "fell through the cracks" ( i.e., each agency thinks the other is recording the incident resulting in neither agency taking responsibility).
The best interests of the University would be served with the UPPD providing a full range of police services to the campus community, while relying on the Philadelphia Police to provide extra patrol to assist in extraordinary crime patterns and to provide special services such as crime laboratory services, Ordnance Disposal Unit, Stakeout Unit, Accident Investigation Unit, Sex Crimes Unit, and Homicide Unit.
An associated problem in the relationship with the Philadelphia Police Department is that the city is converting to a totally new radio communications network. This new computer operated radio network will not be compatible with Penn's present network. The UPPD will no longer be able to communicate with or monitor the city police.
This development is both a challenge and an opportunity for Penn. The UPPD radio system needs to be modernized. The new city system will be state-of-the-art and will have greatly enhanced data transmission capabilities. It enables the use of laptop computers in every police vehicle with the resulting savings of many hours of labor. The UPPD will have the opportunity to install new equipment compatible with the city and reap the benefits of a comprehensive modernized radio voice and data transmission network.
There are numerous operational and administrative policies, programs, procedures, and directives, that need to be reviewed, analyzed, and updated by the UPPD. The best way to ensure that every facet of the organization is given a thorough review is to enroll in the national accreditation process.
In 1979 the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. was created through the combined efforts of four major law enforcement organizations: The International Association of Chiefs of Police, National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, National Sheriffs' Association, and the Police Executive Research Forum. The Commission was formed for two reasons: to develop a set of law enforcement standards; and to establish and administer an accreditation process through which law enforcement agencies could demonstrate voluntarily that they meet professionally-recognized criteria for excellence in management and service delivery.
To become accredited a police agency conducts a self-assessment to comply with all applicable standards and gathers proofs of compliance for later verification by an on-site assessment team. In most agencies, self-assessment takes two years.
Upon completing self-assessment, a team of trained assessors verifies the agency's compliance with standards by checking its proofs and interviewing operations and management personnel. The assessors also conduct a public hearing to elicit citizens' comments.
The accreditation process requires a police department to review every area of its operation and performance. All departmental policies and procedures are systematized, standardized and updated. It helps protect the department from liability. Successful accreditation ensures the agency has benchmarked itself with the best in the country (only 2% of police forces nationwide have achieved accreditation). Penn should expect no less from its police force.
In the immediate area of the Penn campus there are a number of other security departments including Drexel University security, Amtrak Police, Postal Service Police, SEPTA Police, Children's Hospital security, Veterans' Hospital security, and Pharmacy College security. Many of these agencies have expressed a desire to form a closer working relationship to provide a total security envelope to their combined areas of responsibility. This is a concept that the UPPD will provide strong leadership for, as well as a forum for bringing these groups together.
The Public Safety Division is currently spread over three separate buildings, none of them built specifically as police installations. Their condition can be described as substandard, at best.
The entire Public Safety Division should be housed in a new Public Safety Headquarters to maximize operational efficiency and effectiveness. Beyond the morale issues effecting employees who work in substandard facilities, is the problem that the present facilities cannot support, nor be upgraded to support, the needed improvements and additions to technology necessary to protect the campus.
The heart of a new Public Safety facility will be a command information/control and communications center. This center, staffed by civilian UPPD employees and contract security employees, will monitor all alarms, access control devices, closed-circuit television systems, blue light phone system, and control dispatching and communications of all police and security personnel. This center would constantly be aware of conditions on campus and the appropriate response to any problems could be directed by the center.
The facility would need an uninterrupted power supply to enable it to function under any condition. In the event of a natural or manmade disaster or critical incident, the facility would serve as an emergency operations center from which University leaders could direct operations in safety.
The site of a new Public Safety Headquarters should be on the west end of the campus, preferably with direct access to 40th Street. The University will achieve significant additional benefits from a new facility by locating it in a commercial or high-density residential area that it is committed to help revitalize. The presence of an attractive police facility can be a key building block for neighborhood improvement and stabilization. Finally, the facility need not be new. It can be located in an existing building, remodeled to fulfill requirements.
The Special Services Division of the Public Safety Division, known to most on campus as Victim Support, has grown significantly over a number of years from one person providing victim support to a unit that provides the following services:
A more detailed description of the Special Services Division's organization, services, and statistics are contained in Appendix B.
In its present form the Special Services Division provides one of the best and most comprehensive victim support service packages of any University in the country. The services delivered at Penn far exceed anything provided elsewhere by the City of Philadelphia.
The Division's commitment to victim support and proactive crime prevention programs will continue and be improved wherever possible. The one area in Special Services that requires modification is their assumption of an investigative workload.
The Director of Special Services, recognizing a need for better investigative services, attempted to fill the void by assuming some investigative workload generated by complainants who brought cases to Special Services. Some of this investigative workload will be shifted back to the UPPD investigative unit as their resources are increased and redirected. Very sensitive cases, especially those involving sex crimes, will remain the province of the Special Services Division.
Semiautomatic pistols have become the standard issue weapons for most police departments in the country today. The increased firepower available to the criminal today has caused the police to convert to these new weapons in order to adequately protect the officers and the people they serve.
As revolvers are being replaced, many training programs and mandated courses of qualification are being directed at semiautomatics only. Police experience across the country has demonstrated that the conversion from revolvers to semiautomatics can be smoothly achieved, and in most cases the marksmanship of the officers improves.
Penn should provide its police officers with the most effective weapons available to protect them against the daily risks they encounter, as well as the necessary training to ensure safe utilization of these weapons.
The UPPD should continue to review policies related to the use of force and monitor the use of other police equipment to assure that the highest standards are routinely practiced.
The University Police, in conjunction with other University departments and the Philadelphia Police and Fire Departments, needs to develop contingency plans, and practice those plans in simulated exercises, to handle the following situations:
Several of the committees that previously reviewed the UPPD recommended the establishment of a permanent advisory body, made up of a cross-section of the University, to provide access to the management and operation of the department.
The Philadelphia Police Department has successfully instituted a system of Police Department Advisory Councils (PDAC's) in every district in the city. Each council is made up of a group of citizens from the district to include business leaders, community group leaders, clergy, and educators. This diverse group meets with the district Captain on a regular basis to advise him/her on the management of the district. These PDAC's have become very beneficial to the Police Department and popular with the community.
The same type of body would prove beneficial to the UPPD. Representation should include members of the University faculty, staff, students, and local community leaders. They would meet on a regular basis with the management of the UPPD and the Public Safety Division.
The present security systems on campus include alarm systems, access control systems, blue light phones, and a very limited use of closed-circuit television (CCTV). This technology is supplemented by security guards.
The schools and business units have been purchasing and installing their own security systems in response to perceived overall security needs and individual incidents. Due to the decentralized nature of the University, the various systems purchased have been stand-alone systems with little thought to an overall strategy or the impact the various systems have on their neighbors. Public Safety has the opportunity to develop and publish security standards, assist in project planning, suggest equipment and vendors, and monitor installation and compliance with contract requirements. Public Safety's leadership in this area would ensure the growth of a coordinated safety and security system that would deliver the best protection possible at the lowest cost.
The University purchases large amounts of security equipment and services in a decentralized fashion. Most schools and centers establish relationships with various vendors to accommodate their needs. While each school has defined needs and preferences, a real opportunity for University-wide cost savings exists by consolidating purchasing in the highly competitive security industry whenever possible.
The Public Safety Division needs to perform a security audit of the entire campus to accurately gauge the present state of physical security. In addition, standards for physical security, guard service, and security policy need to be established. These standards should provide for normal use situations such as classroom buildings, student housing, as well as special situations such as cashier locations, research laboratories, and the like.
There are over 200 security guards, provided by a number of contractors, assigned to various locations on campus. An opportunity exists to reduce the total number of guards used and upgrade the performance of the remaining personnel. Corporate experience has demonstrated the key to effective contract guard services is a tightly drawn and monitored service contract.
The University should move toward eventually partnering with one security guard company. Penn would specify the wages paid to the personnel, background and qualification requirements, and training standards. The Public Safety Division would provide most basic and in-service training. A Public Safety Division employee would manage the guards to ensure contract compliance with all standards. The schools in turn would direct the work of the guards on a daily basis.
This model of partnership with the guard company would ensure quality personnel with a low turnover rate at a reasonable cost. High quality guard personnel could be easily integrated into an overall security system with the University Police. Experience shows that the two groups working side by side would develop mutual respect for each other and forge an effective working relationship.
There are presently over 400 alarm accounts on campus monitored through the UPPD communications center. Many of these alarms are substandard residential grade systems installed in a commercial environment. In addition, the false activation rate seems to be close to the city in general, which is approximately 98%. This false alarm rate stems from a combination of user error and defective equipment.
The Public Safety Division has developed alarm standards to be employed when new facilities are constructed or older alarm systems are replaced. Along with the installation of new systems, the University would benefit from having its own team of alarm maintenance technicians. This would produce savings over multiple service contracts, provide timely service, and ensure the maintenance of University-wide standards.
Effective electronic access control systems are one of the best ways to provide security to residential living quarters and other campus facilities. A variety of access control technologies exist to automate positive identification and control access to buildings without using security guards or residential marshals. The savings in recurring personnel costs would more than offset the investment in technology. A variety of user-friendly systems are available to fit different security requirements. These systems can be mated with other technology, such as alarm systems and CCTV, and monitored by an on-site guard or report to the UPPD communication center.
There is limited use of CCTV on campus. A great potential for security enhancement exists in mating television monitoring with other security systems. Robotic cameras can be integrated with alarm systems, access control systems, and blue light phones. These cameras can alert personnel in the Public Safety Communication Center to view a monitor when directed by another system and send the appropriate response. Cameras can also be programmed to scan certain selected areas and videotape conditions and activities.
Closed-circuit monitoring is gaining greater acceptance in society. If phased-in incrementally on campus in an unobtrusive manner with sensitivity to personal freedom issues, it would prove to be a highly effective tool to enhance safety and security.
The blue light emergency phone system has proved to be one of the most popular and effective security systems in place on campus. Their use needs to be continued and expanded. Some of the phones need replacement and other new phone locations need to be identified. Solar-powered cellular blue light phones are now available. These phones can be easily mounted in any location as they need no wiring to a central station. In addition, they are self-testing, reporting any malfunction condition immediately to the monitoring location.
An upgrade of the blue light phone system with this new technology would be cost-effective, and a highly visible and popular improvement to the University's security system.
The campus and surrounding streets are occupied by over 100 vendors, many of them in large trucks. From the perspective of the police the vendors create two potential dangers. Many of them prepare food using propane gas and/or operate gasoline powered electrical generators. The risk of explosion, especially if one of the trucks were struck during an auto accident, is substantial. The second danger posed by the trucks is that they block sight lines for vehicles and pedestrians. This contributes to accidents involving motor vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians.
The UPPD will work with University planners, the city's Licenses and Inspection officials, the community, and the vendors to devise and implement a control strategy to regulate vending on and around campus. This strategy might include regulations for vendor equipment, proper spacing, restricted streets, and the creation of a series of "vendor malls." Once regulation is agreed upon, the police in conjunction with L&I officials can enforce the standards. Well-regulated, attractive vendors contribute to a sense of order in the urban streetscape, which in turn produces a greater perception of safety.
Aggressive panhandlers and the homeless are distinct but overlapping populations. A high concentration of street people translates into petty street crime such as theft from auto and store window "smash and grabs." More importantly, their very presence contributes to the perception of crime and disorder in the community.
The police should not be the lead agents in dealing with the homeless; however they play a significant role in a control strategy. The University and the UPPD need to work with Philadelphia's Deputy Managing Director for Special Housing Needs. His office has successfully implemented control strategies in various areas of the city such as the City Hall subway, the Philadelphia Airport, and Philadelphia Family Court.
Concerted work efforts with the University, elected officials, homeless advocates and service providers, the Philadelphia Police and the UPPD, coordinated under the leadership of the Deputy Managing Director, can produce an ongoing control strategy which would greatly reduce the homeless population in the campus area. This effort, at the same time, would provide meaningful assistance to the homeless in terms of interim housing arrangements, medical treatment and the like.
The Philadelphia downtown business improvement district known as the Center City District (CCD) has become a national model of public and private partnership to improve the quality of life in an urban setting. The District has developed effective programs to clean up Center City, improve the streetscape, and partner with the police and private security to revitalize the downtown area.
The executive director of the CCD is an adjunct professor at Penn and has lent his organization's expertise to other areas of Philadelphia. The CCD's experience would be valuable in assisting Penn to craft a multidimensional plan to clean up the streets and sidewalks, improve the streetscape, and forge a more cooperative relationship between the Penn Police and private security employees. This in turn will provide a more attractive environment for new retail establishments to come to Penn.
Speeding and reckless driving is a significant problem on a number of streets on the campus, especially on Walnut Street. Traffic congestion problems are significant on Walnut and Spruce Streets. These problems can be solved through education programs, improved signage, and aggressive traffic enforcement.
There is also a need for dedicated bicycle lanes through campus. Serious consideration should be given to creating a bicycle lane on the South curb lane of Walnut Street from the river to 43rd Street or beyond.
The University must continue to provide and constantly improve the numerous crime prevention and safety awareness programs presented by the Special Services Division. A personal and organizational sense of responsibility for safety and security must be developed at Penn. The Penn community must have accurate information regarding the geographic area of patrol of the UPPD and the limits of their authority. This information helps form realistic expectations of the level of Public Safety services the University can provide.
The various internal media outlets at Penn such as Almanac, The Daily Pennsylvanian, and other publications facilitate the delivery of the safety and security message to everyone at Penn. The campus media has the responsibility to report all the news in a fair, accurate, and measured manner to inform the campus community about crime and safety issues.
The Public Safety Division must continue to improve the quality of new student safety orientation programs. New students and their parents, especially those not familiar with the urban environment, need accurate information and safety awareness training to equip them to take prudent measures to ensure their personal safety while in the campus area and the rest of Philadelphia.
The Public Safety Division needs to coordinate and assist Kite and Key tour leaders in presenting accurate information to prospective students and their families about crime and safety issues at Penn. Prospective students need a clear picture of the extensive efforts of the University to ensure their safety.
The University Escort Service was conceived primarily for security reasons to provide ready transportation for students on campus. Over the years it has expanded substantially. Many students now use it for convenient door to door transportation service rather than for security reasons.
As the range and hours of the service have grown, the ridership has increased to the point that it is changing the residential patterns of students and leaving the streets of the campus barren in the evening. This perpetuates the view that the campus is not safe because pedestrians are not walking through and around the campus.
A principle of the "Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design" philosophy holds that police and security forces alone cannot make the urban streetscape safe. It is only when the citizens reclaim and continually use their public spaces that true safety and the perception of safety is achieved.
In light of these concerns it would be prudent to review the entire concept and structure of the Escort Service and bring it into line with Penn's strategic plans.
One way for the University Police to reach out to the West Philadelphia community is to establish and staff a Police Athletic League center in a neighborhood close to the campus.
The Police Athletic League (PAL) in Philadelphia is one of the most successful in the country, operating 21 centers throughout the city, serving over 23,000 young people. PAL not only operates sports programs at its centers, but is putting increased emphasis on tutoring, mentoring, and scholarships.
The University has the opportunity to identify a site in a neighborhood near the campus. Necessary requirements would be a basketball court, other rooms to play games, conduct classes, a computer classroom, and office space for staff.
The University Police would supply an officer full-time to operate the center and work with neighborhood children. Volunteers would be recruited from Penn students, faculty, staff, and the surrounding neighborhood. Older computer equipment, furniture, etc. could be donated. The executive director of PAL (a Philadelphia Police Captain) has expressed great interest in a venture and has indicated he will likely commit a Philadelphia Police Officer to the center to work along with the Penn Officer.
The Penn Officer would be part of, and trained and supervised by the larger city PAL organization. The Penn PAL program would participate in, and reap the benefits provided by the larger PAL organization.
A Penn PAL could truly be a model for the rest of the city. It would be a recreation center and a center for tutoring and mentoring. It would provide a place where neighborhood youth could go after school and in the evening, have fun and learn in constructive programs while their parents would be confident they were safe from the dangers of the street. A PAL center would be a win-win for the neighborhood and Penn. Penn would provide a needed service to the community and its image would rise in the eyes of its neighbors.
This plan has outlined a number of steps to be taken to improve safety and security at the University of Pennsylvania. A number of indicators will be used to measure the effectiveness of these improvements: