Campus Safety One Year After Officer Fitzgerald’s Death

One year ago, Temple University Police Officer Christopher Fitzgerald was shot and killed, while intervening in an attempted carjacking, close to Temple University’s main campus.  

The murder happened on the 1700th block of Montgomery Avenue, where days later, a memorial site was made there, where students were able to commemorate the brave officer with flowers and other items.  

Marissa Fitzgerald, the officer’s wife, explained that her and her family are still struggling with this tragic loss. “To everyone, it may feel like a year, to me and my family honestly it’s like waking up every day and having that nightmare replay all over again.” 

Due to this tragedy and other crimes/violence, Temple University has implemented different measures to ensure the safety of students and faculty, on and near campus. This includes increased foot patrols, a continued relationship with the Philadelphia Police Department, and new blue light security cameras.  

Dr. Jennifer Griffin, Vice President of the Department of Safety at Temple, explains they are providing as many resources as they can to keep students safe. “It’s really trying to get students to engage with the resources, be aware of them, and then, you know, ask questions if they need help.” 

Although the Department of Safety and Temple have upped their safety measures, students still have mixed feelings on if they feel safe on and surrounding campus. 

Sabir Abdusshaheed, a senior at Temple, feels that since the campus is in the middle of a city, there isn’t much to be done. “It’s Philly, you know…” Abdusshaheed later added on with, “you got to protect your neck, be around the right people and everything like that. But I mean they are taking precautions and everything like that too, so I feel like a little more safe.” 

Taulant Kurti, a senior at Temple, isn’t too confident in these upped measures, along with other students, stating, “I see more officers on bikes and stuff like that, but they’re on corners where there’s either like not a lot of students like living there… I don’t see too many officers around there.” 

Marissa Fitzgerald hopes that more equipment and resources will create a safer environment for both students and officers. “I don’t want another wife to feel what i feel, I don’t want their kids to feel what my kids feel every single day. That’s what I want. I don’t want them to have to get a phone call or have to go to a funeral, or have to do anything that we’ve had to endure for this last year.” 

Temple is holding a plaque dedication for fallen officer, Sergeant Christopher Fitzgerald, on February 18th, at 6:30 p.m. It will take place at the Feinstein Lounge in Sullivan Hall. Marissa Fitzgerald and the rest of her family will be at the dedication, in honor of their fallen loved one. Students are also invited to attend.

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