FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Friday, May 26, 2017
For more information, contact:
CPS Office of Communications
CHICAGO – At an event today honoring Safe Passage workers, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Police Department today announced that crime along Safe Passage routes has fallen by nearly one third since the 2012-13 school year. Today’s Safe Passage rally celebrated the tireless dedication of more than 1,300 community-based Safe Passage workers who ensure that 75,000 CPS students have a safe journey to and from school every day so that they can focus on their education.
To date, there have been no serious incidents involving a student during operational hours while Safe Passage workers are present.
“On behalf of the City of Chicago, I want to thank everyone who wears a Safe Passage vest and walks a Safe Passage route,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Safe Passage is not about keeping some kids in certain neighborhoods safe. 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.”
With support from the Mayor, CPS continues to invest in the Safe Passage program because of its track record of providing students with the confidence that they can travel to and from school safely. The program has been demonstrated to improve attendance at schools served, and crime along Safe Passage routes has declined by 32 percent since 2012 according to an analysis of CPD crime statistics.
“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,” said CPS Chief Executive Officer Forrest Claypool. “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.”
Safe Passage workers’ ability to understand community dynamics and to leverage their relationships within the school community is at the core of the program’s success. The District’s Safety and Security team also trains workers on how to manage different scenarios using an array of de-escalation and conflict resolution strategies. The workers are also versed on safety protocols to ensure that potential situations are handled strategically and cautiously.
“This program is successful because we have come together with members of the community under the unified goal of ensuring our students get to school safely,” said CPS Chief Education Office Dr. Janice K. Jackson. “Nothing is more important than making sure students make it to school so they can learn, and this would not be possible without the dedicated community Safe Passage workers who make this happen each and every day.”
CPS’ Office of Safety and Security works with the school community to incorporate feedback on an ongoing basis to ensure that routes are the most effective for students. This information allows the District to strategically position workers in “hot spots” to deter any potential criminal activity from taking place in that area.
“The safety of our communities and especially our children is the single most important responsibility for CPD,” said Superintendent Eddie Johnson. “Every year, the dedicated public safety workers of Safe Passage work hand in hand with CPD officers to keep a watchful eye and ensure the safety of our students. I am thankful for their partnership and commitment to making Chicago safer.”
Additional information on the Safe Passage program, including route maps for all 142 schools, is available at www.cps.edu/safepassage
Safe Passage by the Numbers:
- 142 Safe Passage schools
- 1,300 Safe Passage workers
- 75,000 CPS students served
- 21 partnerships with community-based organizations
- 32 percent reduction in crime on Safe Passage routes since the 2012-13 school year
Chicago Public Schools serves 381,000 students in 652 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.