Temple University

Temple Public Safety Director Charles Leone to Step Down

Leone’s resignation comes amid recent shootings at or near Temple University.

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Temple University’s Executive Director of Public Safety Charles Leone is set to step down next month, the school announced Thursday. Leone’s resignation is effective April 29. 

“I came to Temple nearly 40 years ago as a student, and I loved this university so much that I never left,” Leone said. “It is bittersweet for me to leave now, but I know campus safety is in a much stronger position today, and this is the right time for me personally to step aside and enable a new leader to build the department’s strategy for the future.”

Deputy Director Denise Wilhelm, a member of Temple University Police for more than 30 years, will assume the role of interim executive director. The school said they will begin a national search to find a new executive director immediately. 

“As the city and the university have faced a growing gun violence crisis, Charlie has led the university’s efforts to safeguard the community,” a Temple spokesperson wrote. “He will stay with the University until the end of April to assist with the onboarding of Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey as he undertakes a comprehensive review of public safety.” 

Leone’s resignation comes amid recent shootings at or near Temple University. Earlier this month, a 15-year-old boy allegedly opened fire at a group of teen girls inside a car near Temple’s campus. 

In November, 18-year-old Ahmir Jones was shot and killed while walking with his girlfriend near Temple. That same month, Temple University student Samuel Collington, 21, was shot and killed outside his campus apartment.

In the weeks and months after Collington’s death, Temple University implemented new safety measures for students and faculty. Earlier this week, Temple met with Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and Police Chief Danielle Outlaw to discuss ways to decrease the violence. 

On Wednesday, the school announced new policies including a security upgrade grant program, increased patrols and a neighborhood watch program. 

A Temple spokesperson did not confirm whether or not the recent violent incidents at the school or the new safety measures played a role in Leone’s resignation. 

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