Chicago Public Schools says the number of crimes committed along its Safe Passage routes has dropped off by almost one-third over the last five years.
The school district honored 1,300 parent and community-based program workers during an event Friday – only weeks after the city announced plans to expand Safe Passage throughout the summer months.
“CPS has quadrupled the number of Safe Passage schools because it’s a proven community-based model that helps students get to school safely and encourages students to focus on their education,” CPS CEO Forrest Claypool said in a press release.
“The Safe Passage program is a prime example of successful collaboration among CPS, the City of Chicago, the Chicago Police Department and our dedicated community partners. We look forward to continuing to collaborate and improve this critical program.”
With or without the yellow jacket, if you are an adult, you are a Safe Passage worker ensuring that our kids are safe. They are our future.
— ChicagosMayor (@ChicagosMayor) May 26, 2017
Using an analysis of Chicago Police Department data, the district says crime along Safe Passage routes has fallen by 32 percent since the 2012-13 school year.
CPS works with local community organizations to hire and train Safe Passage workers, who guide students to and from school each day. It added two new routes at the beginning of this school year – at Dyett High School on the South Side and Al Raby High School on the West Side – and says it now serves 75,000 students across 142 schools.
The district claims no major incidents have occurred along its Safe Passage routes, and says schools using the program have seen an increase in attendance numbers.
Earlier this month, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the city will also grow its summer Safe Passage program, employing 250 workers throughout 31 park locations on four days each week.
“Safe Passage is not about keeping some kids in certain neighborhoods safe," Emanuel said in a press release. "It is about keeping every child in every neighborhood safe – whether they are on the way to school, on the way home from school, or wherever they are going in life. By keeping our children safe on the way to school, Safe Passage workers keep students squarely on the path to college and a more secure future.”
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May 1: The Chicago Park District and Chicago Public Schools are teaming up this summer to help ensure safe travel for thousands of youth participating in recreational programs and sports leagues.
Sept. 1: Safe spaces and trigger warnings: Are they good for college students or stifling academic and intellectual freedom?
Aug. 26: For the seventh straight year, children and teens will be guided along their daily commute by Safe Passage workers – community members hired out by CPS to keep watch over students during as they walk to school in the morning and back home in the afternoon.