DETROIT PUBLIC SCHOOLS TEENS USE VIDEO TO TELL ALL TEENS ‘STOP THE CRIME’

NEWS fromDetroit Public Schools
Office of Public Relations

Contact: Steve Wasko
313-873-4892 or 313-212-5636

Editors Please Note: Detroit Public Schools, Crime Stoppers and Detroit Public Television officials will unveil the “Snitch” video to the media at a news conference set for 2:00 p.m., Thursday, August 28, 2007 at the DPS Public Safety Mini Station located at Central High School, 2425 Tuxedo (at Lasalle, near Linwood).

“We want to help our students to take control in their schools to help improve their academic environment. We have the information and the program, but the onus is on the students,’ said Charles Mitchell, Chief of the Detroit Public Schools Department of Public Safety. That was part of the reason why several students from The Detroit School of Arts (DSA) were charged with creating a visual message that could reach young people like themselves, to help them understand there is nothing wrong with telling authorities about a person who has committed a crime or who plans to commit one.

The DSA students took only a month to conceptualize, write, produce and edit a 6 minute vignette that demonstrates the benefits of helping to prevent crimes. Since it is written using the vernacular and the feel of the young it has a better than average chance of actually reaching students with the speak-up message and moving them away from the ‘snitches get stitches’ mentality. It clearly states that you have a responsibility to report criminal activity-that it not only helps students, it helps everyone. The video targets high-school freshmen and will be supplied to counselors and other staff for assemblies and any gatherings at which it can be shown. It is available in its entirety on the Detroit Public Schools website, www.detroitk12.org. The video will also be aired by WTVS Detroit Public Television and available on their “on demand” web site, http://www.dptv.org/ondemand/index.shtml

The video supports the well-known Crime Stoppers program that encourages anyone to call 1-800-SPEAKUP (1-800-773-2587) at any time, to report criminal activity, completely anonymously. There is also the possibility of receiving an award if the criminal is convicted. The DPS video is part of a new aspect of the program called Campus Crime Stoppers because the person reporting the crime or criminals might receive a reward if they give authorities enough information to solve a crime.

The project received help from Crime Stoppers President John Broad. “I am committed to supporting DPS efforts to reduce criminal activity on the campuses. When we reduce crime that affects the schools, we reduce crime that affects our neighborhoods and that improves our quality of life,” said Broad.

Frequently, students know about pending criminal activity that violates the DPS Student Code of Conduct, but they ‘don’t want to get involved,’ not realizing that it is to their advantage to join the fight against crime. “Prevention before apprehension is my motto,” said Chief Mitchell. “It is far better to keep a crime from occurring rather than have to arrest and convict a person after it has taken place. Too often someone can get hurt.DPS loses property and parents get worried. We’re counting on the message in the Campus Crime Stoppers video to help us stay ahead in the race against crime,” he added.

For information about DPS enrollment, call 313-873-7098 or visit our website at www.detroitk12.org.
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