DETROIT – Elementary school students in Detroit began their day without onsite security officers in the school for the first time in many years.
In an effort to save money, the district trimmed unarmed security personnel.
A new camera system will be the gatekeeper during low-traffic hours and the office will buzz visitors in.
Many parents are unhappy to see full-time security officers gone, concerned it leaves only teachers and administrators to respond if there are fights or other incidents.
“If somebody gets bullied on the other side of the building of if somebody lets somebody in,” said Veraisha Palmer, a concerned mother.
Over 14,000 cameras will monitor the grounds of schools and onsite safety teams are in training. The staff is learning tools to intercede safely and DPS Police are on occasional patrol.
“Normally we can get here in a really low response time, about five minutes,” DPS Police Chief Stacy Brackens said.
Many schools are requesting parent volunteers to help during arrival and dismissal.
“I have a good 10 who come in and out,” Principal Shirita Hightower said. “I’m hoping for twice that so they can revolve and that way we don’t have to count on the same ones all the time.”
The new measures have not been implemented at all schools and were only introduced after administrators looked at surrounding crime rates, neighborhood characteristics and the building’s size.