$5M for improved campus security

Penn President Amy Gutmann, along with Provost Ronald Daniels and EVP Craig Carnaroli, has announced a new $5 million commitment to enhance the safety of our campus and surrounding community. 

That amount is in addition to the $2 million supplemental resources previously authorized this fiscal year. “The safety of our students, faculty and staff continues to be our number one priority,” said Gutmann.   

Penn Public Safety plans to use the funds to immediately add both uniformed and plain-clothes police officers and security guards to patrol the streets on and around campus during the evening and early morning hours.

In all, the number of police officers will be increased by 20 percent and the presence of security guards by 50 percent.

The other main focus of the new security measures—with $2 to 3 million budgeted—will be enhanced lighting, security cameras and emergency phones. Sidewalk lighting on Pine Street between 40th and 43rd streets has already been improved, and a project to install better lighting throughout the 24-block area between 40th and 43rd streets bounded by Market Street and Baltimore Avenue is now underway.

A third phase, also underway according to Vice President for Public Safety Maureen Rush, is evaluating lighting throughout the Penn Police patrol zone—from 30th to 43rd Street and from Market Street to Baltimore Avenue.

Despite the recent spike in crime throughout the city and in the area surrounding the campus, according to Penn Public Safety, in December, overall crime on and near the University decreased by 26 percent compared to 2004.

The $5 million commitment comes on the heels of other recent security initiatives. Since November 2005, the Penn police department has been collaborating with Philadelphia police and together they have formed a tactical joint Philadelphia-Penn police force comprised of uniformed and undercover police officers. The work of the task force has already resulted in more than 90 arrests of criminals in the campus community. 

Originally published on February 9, 2006