Tensions rise between administration and men and women in blue
Temple University’s vice president of public safety allegedly called a campus police officer and union leader an “unprofessional punk” and a “loser” after a recent press conference.
Jennifer Griffin reportedly directed her comments at Alec Shaffer, the leader of the Temple University Police Association, after a press conference following the death of campus cop, Christopher Fitzgerald. The briefing occurred on February 18 outside of the hospital where Fitzgerald died.
The College Fix independently confirmed the details of the allegations from a source close to the situation. During the press briefing, a voice can be heard shouting “why don’t you say hello to the cops when you see them,” during the university president’s comments.
A Twitter account called PhillyCrimeUpdate reported:
[University president Jason Wingard] arrived at the hospital and walked [past] TUPD officers without even acknowledging them. He met with the family and viewed the [officer’s] body. He then conducted a press conference.
Directly after the presser, TUPA Prez Shaffer tried to approach Wingard to attempt to speak to him for the first time ever (Wingard has repeatedly refused meetings).
Confirmed with video, a TUPD Police Captain (who was not in uniform) prevented the interaction by physically assaulting and shoving TUPA president Shaffer. PPD Highway Patrol had to physically remove and restrain the TUPD Captain.
The parties were separated and the situation was being deescalated when VP Griffin approached TUPA President in an attempt to start another confrontation and said “You’re an unprofessional punk and a loser”.
“I can confirm every part of this. I was in front of Alec trying to prevent the captain from putting hands on him again,” Mark Fussetti, a retired Philadelphia cop, wrote in response. “I was next to Alec when Griffin verbally attacked him.”
The media won’t release it. I can confirm every part of this. I was in front of Alec trying to prevent the captain from putting hands on him again. I was next to Alec when Griffin verbally attacked him
— Sgt. Mark Fusetti (Retired) (@MarkFusetti) February 22, 2023
The Fix emailed Temple media relations members Deirdre Hopkins and Stephen Orbanek on Wednesday to ask for comment on the allegations and if there was anything Griffin (pictured) said that might have been misconstrued. Neither responded as of Thursday morning.
The Temple police union had initially expressed optimism about Griffin’s hire last summer.
Orbanek, the campus spokesman, told The Fix at the time that “officer wellness” would be a priority for Griffin.
Griffin’s “background supporting officer wellness, and that is very important to us. It’s also one of the things that led to her emerging as such an appealing candidate,” Orbanek told The Fix.
IMAGE: Temple University