After nearly 40 years at Temple University, Charlie Leone, the executive director of public safety, is stepping down as the campus grapples with rising gun violence in nearby neighborhoods.
Temple has been under scrutiny since the November murder of Samuel Collington, who was shot during an attempted robbery in a neighborhood near campus where many students reside. As gun violence in the area continues, so too does pressure from parents for the university to act on student safety.
“I came to Temple nearly 40 years ago as a student, and I loved this university so much that I never left,” Leone said in a statement Thursday. “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 will serve as interim executive director.
Leone’s resignation, effective on April 29, comes in the same week that Temple met with Philadelphia mayor Jim Kenney and police commissioner Danielle Outlaw to discuss efforts to curb gun violence. Temple also announced various measures last week to reduce gun violence in adjacent neighborhoods, including providing grants to local landlords to upgrade security efforts by adding features such as cameras and lighting.
An audit of campus security services is set to begin next month.