Temple University reallocates police funding to 'social justice programs'

President Englert caved to student demands to defund foundations supporting police departments.

The Philadelphia Police Foundation funding was used to equip police officers with better training and preparation.

Temple University President Richard Englert said in a statement that the school will divest from the Philadelphia Police Foundation. 

The university previously released a statement objecting to requests that Temple “discontinue all ties with the Philadelphia Police Department.” It said that Temple University, the Philadephia Police Department and other safety partners work together “by providing effective layers of service and protection for the Temple community and residents in nearby neighborhoods.”

Students also created a petition to stop funding the Philadelphia police. The university’s funding of the police is “putting money in the pockets of these criminals who have been given guns and badges.” It has been signed by more than 3,700 people. 

The Philadelphia Police Foundation’s purpose “is to provide important support and resources to the Philadelphia Police Department to assist the Department in ensuring the safety and security of the city’s residents, visitors and businesses.” The foundation helps provide funding for the police department’s equipment and programs. It “exclusively” funds an anti-bias training program for officers that puts a “particular emphasis on anti-Black discrimination and bias.”

[RELATED: Nationwide, colleges face calls to ‘defund the police’]

In the most recent statement, Englert claims that “upon review and community input” the university will disassociate from the Philadelphia Police Foundation. Temple University has previously “provided a small amount of support to the Philadelphia Police Foundation through charitable donations.”Now, Englert says that “instead, Temple will reallocate these funds to support social justice programs at the university.”

Temple University Assistant Vice President of University Communications Ray Betzner told Campus Reform that “the university has not cut its ties with the Philadelphia Police Department, therefore there is no impact on student safety.”

”Indeed, as we stated in a June 7 message, cutting ties with Philadelphia City Police would not be in the best interest of Temple students, faculty and staff, and our neighbors in the surrounding community. The small amount of support that went to the Philadelphia Police Foundation will be reallocated to support social justice programs at the university.”

The university did not specify which “social justice programs” these funds will now support.

The University of Pennsylvania, which is also located in Philadelphia, has taken similar actions to reduce its funding of the Philadelphia Police Foundation. In an email, the university announced that it will no longer buy tickets to support the foundation’s fundraising events. 

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