The Detroit Public Schools’ Police Department is comprised of Police Officers, Investigators, Campus Police Officers, security officers and a K-9 unit, whose mission is to provide a safe and secure environment for students and staff, conducive for teaching and learning. The Department is housed in a new $5.6 million 23,000-sq ft. state of the art Command Center and Headquarters that opened in January 2011.
At the Command Center, DPS officers can monitor campuses 24-hours a day using high-tech video surveillance cameras and alarms. Schools are being updated with alarm and video surveillance packages installed throughout the interior and exterior that will be fed to video systems at the Command Center.
The new Command Center goes hand-in-hand with a restructuring of the Police Department and $41.7 million district-wide security initiative that strives to make all schools safer. As part of that, the district has launched a new visitors ID badge system, requiring visitors to Detroit Public Schools high schools, career technical schools and the district’s new Police Command Center to be put through on-the-spot sex-offender registry checks as part of a new security clearance system aimed at making campuses safer for students and staff.
The system will instantly scan visitors’ driver licenses and state ID cards and cross-check the information with sex-offender registries throughout the United States and Canada.
All high school students also have been issued new photo ID badges that are color-coded by school, allowing campus security personnel to instantly identify students who belong on their campus.
The Police Department reports to DPS’ Office of Inspector General.
Safety and Security Enhancements
The Detroit Public Schools Police Department is the state’s only full-service school district police agency and includes 78 police officers patrolling schools 24-7. The DPS-PD also has 43 Campus Police Officers assigned to all high schools, and at other critical sites. In addition, the DPS-Police oversee a contract with the Securitas Corporation providing security personnel in all K-8 schools, as well as additional security officers in all high schools.
Safety enhancements include:
- DPS has installed groundbreaking Concealed Weapons Detector (CWD) walk-through portals which use advanced magnetic technology to accurately pinpoint threat objects on a visual image of the subject. This $534,000 investment in 60 portals allows a photo tag of every student entering the buildings in a faster, more efficient, procedure entrance.
- All schools in the District received $18 million in camera and alarm upgrades. Implementation is currently taking place, and will continue throughout the year. New and renovated schools included full upgrades.
- All new and renovated schools have a new or renovated security entrance with security offices and monitors to display all school cameras. Those cameras can also be viewed at the Command Center and from the school’s administration area / principal’s office. View Scan metal detectors are also installed at entrances. Under the system, when there is an incident or unwanted entry, camera and alarms will activate at doors. The camera system will initiate and record the previous 15 seconds of activity to the alarm. Cameras also activate at the Command Center. Officers at the Command Center then can activate video of all cameras at a school to pinpoint exact location to respond.
- DPS-Police use 8 motorcycles to patrol larger campuses, and during the sporting events.
- DPS has implemented a Fast Pass Visitor ID badging system, an identification system in 32 schools, including all high schools for everyone walking through a building. Officers are charged with immediately challenging anyone without a badge, creating a safer environment. The Fast-Pass visitor badge system, a $131,000 investment, includes a camera, adhesive paper badge printer, driver license reader and bar-code scanner.
Detroit Public Schools’ K-9 unit is made up of three canines: Nitro, Tazer and Maximus. All were imported from Germany, and trained locally at a training facility in Wayne, Michigan. The department has one k-9 officer partnered with each k-9.
In March 2010, one of Detroit Public Schools Police Department k-9 teams was named Police k-9 team of the year by Police k-9 magazine.
Safety Net Program
Detroit Public Schools Police department has a “Safety Net” program for children not picked up from school by 5 p.m. There are two Safety Net locations. The East Side center is located at the East Side Bus Terminal, 10205 Mack Ave, Detroit (313) 866-2770. The West Side center is located at the West Side Bus Terminal, 8145 Greenfield, Detroit, (313) 945-9357. DPSPD will ensure safe pickup of students through contact with the student’s parent/guardian.
The Detroit Public Schools Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program is a component of the National Youth Violence Prevention Initiative sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Education. Detroit is an inaugural member of what is soon to be 15 national members.
Detroit Public Schools’ unique approach focuses on leveraging multiple law enforcement groups in concert with businesses and community members to ensure students are safe walking to and from home to school.
SRTS is part of a comprehensive “Sustainable Student Safety Framework” that integrates external and in-school factors impacting safety. The framework elements include:
Volunteer Vehicle Patrols: Citizens, in their vehicles, will drive the identified routes, to include but not limited to, up to a 2.0 mile radius around the school. Volunteer Vehicle Patrols work on a regular schedule patrolling their neighborhood in highly-visible, specially-marked vehicles.
VVP’s are familiar with the daily routines in the area and can quickly spot unusual occurrences. Volunteers are asked to commit to a year of patrolling during the following times: 7-9 a.m., 2-4 p.m. and 4-8 p.m. There is no minimum number of days required per week, but volunteers are asked to commit to at least one of the full-time slots. Trainings will be held at 8500 Cameron St. Detroit, 48211 (DPSPD Headquarters) and other sites to be named in the near future.
Walking School Buses: Groups of children who walk designated routes to school under adult(s) supervision, picking up students along the way, similar to a bus. For some, it’s a casual group walk. Others may wear “Yellow Jackets”, while some volunteers set up a formal plan with adults scheduled to walk on certain days.
Other opportunities include:
Eyes and Ears: Is an observation and reporting initiative to assist the entire district/city with the daily observations in and around the school community. Please watch out for students and report suspicious behaviors, blight and tall grass, etc. regularly to DPS-PD by calling (313) 748-6000. We believe that all volunteers will become more familiar with their community and be able to recognize suspicious activities near and around schools on a regular basis.
Other opportunities include:
Business, Resident and Corporate Lookouts
How to Become a Volunteer
Register now to become a volunteer or Download PDF Registration Form. Please complete the registration form and return it to the Office of Parent and Community Engagement: Fax (313) 873-7446 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you need additional information, please call (313) 240-4DPS (4377) or (313) 873-7490.
The Mission of the Detroit Public Schools Police Department (DPSPD) is to provide a safe and secure environment for students and staff, conducive for teaching and learning.
- Police and Security Operations Management
- School Officer Assignment
- Community Service
- Administrative Liaison