DPS, Detroit Police Department, Michigan State Police and citizen patrollers announce an unprecedented multi-agency/community-wide school safety initiative

 The safety initiative includes a six-prong strategy to keep kids safer, including increasing patrols of school routes in Hot Spots, vastly improving in-school security, leveraging community support, crime data sharing and more

Detroit Public Schools Emergency Manager Roy Roberts and Mayor Dave Bing today announced an unprecedented multi-agency school safety partnership between the DPS Police Department, Detroit Police Department, Michigan State Police and citizen patrol groups to keep students safer in and around schools.

The partnership includes broad and in-depth strategies, including enhanced security and improved cameras, alarms and visitor monitoring technology on school campuses; newly-defined safe routes to three schools deemed hot spots, which will include heightened multi-agency patrols; crime data analysis and registered sex offender locations shared among agencies; crime prevention strategies developed among departments based on data analysis; youth character development training for officers; social media analysis to identify burgeoning problems; and expanded citizen patrols through a Call to Action for more volunteers to patrol in and around schools.

The agencies and citizen patrols teams also are continuing to meet regularly to expand strategies.

“The biggest challenge facing Detroit Public Schools is safety,” said Emergency Manager Roy Roberts. “In order for students to concentrate on academics and in order for parents to commit to sending their children to Detroit Public Schools, we have to ensure that our school buildings, school campuses and the neighborhoods surrounding our schools are safe. This unprecedented partnership between DPS, the City of Detroit, the Detroit Police Department, the Michigan State Police, and our citizens, coupled with the enormous investment we have made in safety infrastructure such as cameras, alarms and new security entrances, will vastly improve safety in and around our schools.”

“There is nothing more important than keeping our kids safe,” said Mayor Dave Bing. “We are demolishing dangerous and vacant structures near schools to create safe routes for children and our police officers are working closely with DPS to make sure this effort is a success. We are also encouraging parents to take a more active role and get involved to make sure our kids stay safe.”

“This partnership with city and state police agencies, the DPS Police Department, the Mayor’s Office and citizen patrollers is critically important because one of the cornerstones to receiving a quality education is having the feeling that your environment is safe, allowing you the ability to focus on learning,” said Detroit Public Schools Police Chief Roderick Grimes.

“The DPD recognizes the immeasurable value of education for our youth and the need to ensure the safety of students as they traverse to and from school,” said Detroit Police Chief Ralph L. Godbee, Jr.

“The Michigan State Police is pleased to be a partner in this collaborative effort to ensure the safety of our youth,” stated Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the Michigan State Police.  “There is no more effective use of government than to align state and local resources with the common goal of protecting our citizens.”

New and Enhanced Cross-Departmental/Community Safety Strategies in and around schools

Safe Routes/Safe Passage

  • DPD, in conjunction with the Detroit Public Schools Police Department, the Office of Mayor Dave Bing and DPS school officials, have established “Safe Routes” for Denby, Osborn and Cody high schools and aim to develop “Safe Routes” for other schools in problematic areas.  Denby, Osborn and Cody were selected based on specific data relative to youth population, incidents of crime and other pertinent factors.  DPD has committed to providing dedicated resources to DPS PD to patrol these predetermined “Safe Routes” during the hours that most students will be traveling to and from school.  A communication command post will be operated by DPS PD and will be responsible for directly deploying uniform resources to respond to any criminal activity occurring in the vicinity of DPS property.  Students and parents in these areas will be informed of these “Safe Routes” and asked to assist in ensuring that these routes remain protected and secure.
  • The Detroit Police Department is implementing a three (3) day multi-jurisdictional operation titled “Safe Passage” to address the incidents of crime occurring in the immediate areas of specific DPS High Schools considered Hot Spots.  The initiative began Tuesday, August 30, 2011 and concludes Thursday, September 1, 2011.  The purpose of the operation is to target incorrigible juveniles who have absconded from court placement or are wanted on a juvenile writ of apprehension, as well as individuals who reside in the area and are wanted for violent offenses, with a specific focus on sex offenders.
  • The Michigan State Police Sex Offender Registry Unit will provide the DPS Police Department with overlays showing the distribution of registered sex offenders in relation to the Safe Routes to School.
  • The MSP has committed to providing a helicopter to support patrols by DPSPD and DPD in key areas when students are released from school, as needed.
  • The City of Detroit will continue its residential demolition program to take down dangerous and vacant structures.  Over the next two months, a series of homes in neighborhoods near schools will be demolished to assist in this effort.

Primary Patrol Focus Based on Data

  • The Detroit Police Department and DPS PD will collaborate to analyze and identify emerging crime trends in specific geographical areas and establish strategies, including a focus of patrols, for suppressing crime in the identified Hot Spots. The collaboration includes having DPS PD invited to attend and participate in DPD Police Department’s weekly crime briefings. The departments will also review and measure previous deployment tactics for effectiveness and efficiency.

In-school Security/School Campus

  • DPS is installing groundbreaking Concealed Weapons Detector (CWD) walk-through portals which use advanced magnetics 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.
  • All schools in the District will benefit from $18 million in camera and alarm upgrades.  Implementation is currently taking place, and will continue throughout the year.  New and renovated s schools this fall will include full upgrades.
  • DPS invested about $9 million in the new police headquarters and command center, a 23,000-square-foot high-tech facility that provides an improved 24-hour security system to enhance public safety on campuses for all students and staff district-wide. The new police headquarters serves as the base of security operations for the district and includes a four-station Command Center post where officers can monitor campuses 24 hours a day using live-feed monitoring surveillance systems from digital cameras and alarms installed on school grounds.
  • All new and renovated schools have received an enhanced security entrance with security office 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, cameras 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 the exact location to respond.
  • DPS will use 8 motorcycles to patrol larger campuses, and during 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’s license reader and bar-code scanner.
  • All high school students have been issued new photo ID badges that are color-coded by school, allowing campus security personnel to instantly identify students who belong or don’t belong on their campus.
  • The DPS Police Department’s three-canine unit includes dogs trained in searching and tracking for narcotics, as well as one training in explosives tracking.
  • The district’s Police Department, a deputized police force, includes 51 police officers patrolling schools 24-7. The district also has 47 Campus Police Officers at all high schools, and at other sites. And under a contract with Securitas, the district now provides security personnel in all K-8 schools, as well as additional security officers in all high schools.

Situational Awareness/Social Media

  • Detroit Police Department, which has an Intelligence Resource Center (IRC) with dedicated personnel for monitoring various social media websites, such as Facebook, Twitter and Myspace, will share with DPS any listing of events, parties or functions that involve specific schools and their students.  The IRC also will provide information relative to gang activity and its members in a specific area.  This information is classified for law enforcement only and will be disseminated appropriately among state and local partners to proactively curtail any issues from arising inside and outside of school grounds.
  • Using data provided by DPSPD, the MSP Michigan Intelligence Operations Center for Homeland Security (MIOC) will analyze the data to identify potential hot spots for focused deployment of DPSPD assets.

Youth Character Development/ Teaching, Mentoring Training

  • The Michigan State Police are making available to DPSPD and DPD 19 spots to attend a T.E.A.M. (Teaching, Educating and Mentoring) Liaison Officer training program in mid-September at the MSP Training Academy.  All meals, lodging and teaching aids are included.  Officers will leave the five-day training prepared to teach the K-12 T.E.A.M. curriculum in DPS.  Additionally, MSP will continue to partner with DPD in facilitating the MSP Youth Leadership Academy program, which develops character and leadership in youth ages 14 – 17.
  • DPS Police Department has developed Life Skills programs, and Gang Awareness and Anti Bullying programs for schools.

Leveraging Community Support

  • DPS PD will call for more community resources to support its Yellow Jacket Brigade and the Hartford Men to mentor youth in schools, serving as preventive forces and acting as the schools’ “eyes and ears” to vastly expand adult presence in schools beyond police enforcement.
  • Detroit Public Television is creating one 30-second message for TV and Radio spotlighting the safety and security measures.  DPTV and WRCJ 90.9 FM will provide free air time to broadcast those messages and can help distribute those to other broadcast outlets.
  • DPTV and WRCJ are creating a five minute video in cooperation with DPS illustrating key aspects of the safety and security announcement that will be customized into nearly 200 videos that will distributed far and wide across the city by community leaders, principals, parents and others. DPTV already has recorded customized video introductions with more than 120 DPS principals, and will marry those with the five minute core video, so that each principal can spread the message electronically via email, social networks, websites, to his/her parent, teacher and student networks. DPTV and WRCJ are working to create customized introductions for additional community leaders to further help spread the word about this campaign to key target audiences.
  • Emergency Manager Roy Roberts and Mayor Dave Bing are issuing a community Call to Action for more volunteers. Volunteers can call DPS Command Headquarters at (313) 748-6008 to volunteer for patrols.

To contact the DPS Office of Inspector General, please call (313) 870-5664.

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