Temple University became the second area university this week to withdraw funding from the Philadelphia Police Foundation amid concerns from students, faculty, and protesters about police brutality.
“In the past, Temple has provided a small amount of support to the Philadelphia Police Foundation through charitable donations,” president Richard M. Englert said in a two-paragraph statement. “Upon review and community input, we have decided that the university will no longer provide this support.”
Instead, Temple will spend the money on social justice programs at the school, he said.
Temple’s student government this month asked the university to cease corporate sponsorship of the foundation and sever all nonessential ties with city police. Students said they have been concerned about police behavior during the recent protests, including an incident in which a high-ranking officer was charged with assault after hitting a Temple student with a baton.
“We are very excited, very proud, that our university decided to take this step,” said Quinn Litsinger, 20, a rising junior and student government president. “The fight definitely isn’t over, but this is a huge step in the right direction.”
Temple declined to say how much money it gave annually to the foundation.
Earlier this week, the University of Pennsylvania said it, along with Penn Medicine, would no longer purchase tickets to attend annual fund-raising events held by the police foundation. Penn also said it had commissioned a review of its own police department.
Maureen S. Rush, president of the police foundation and also vice president of public safety at Penn, declined to comment. The foundation has raised money for equipment, technology, and training for the department, but also has become a target of protesters.
Last year, the foundation provided about $500,000 for ballistic helmets for the SWAT team; antibias training for police cadets at the Holocaust Museum in Washington; canine bulletproof vests; improved saddle padding for horses in the mounted unit; funding for a drone program; and renovations to the 18th Police District and Southwest Division buildings at 55th and Pine Streets.