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“Back to School” in Parts of Chicago Is All About Safety, Not Backpacks, Books and New Classes

Wed August 21 2013 10:10 am  http://www.arlingtoncardinal.com/?p=66056
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Safe Passage routes, designed to protect Chicago Public School students from crime, so children can get to and from class safely, are under scrutiny after five people were shot about 6:00 p.m. Monday at an Uptown bus stop — located on a Chicago Public Schools “Safe Passage” route. Then on Wednesday very early early this morning a neighbor with a chainsaw attacked another neighbor in the 1000 block of West 103rd Street while the two were arguing. The victim of the chainsaw attack had his fingers cut, but not severed. He also suffered cuts to his face and neck. The crime occurred four blocks north of Mount Vernon Elementary School, which is not on the Chicago Public Schools’ Safe Passage list.

“Safe Passage” routes were designated by the Chicago Police Department after months of collaboration with parents, principals, and community members. Maps of the Safe Passage routes are now available for viewing at www.cps.edu/safepassage, and a copy of each school’s specific route will be mailed to all welcoming school families beginning next week.

Before designating them for Safe Passage, members of the CPD walked the routes to identify potential safety hazards, including cracked sidewalks, busy intersections and known neighborhood conflicts. Additionally, Chicago’s Department of Buildings (DOB) has investigated over 1,000 reports of vacant buildings along these routes, and the Department of Streets and Sanitation (DSS) has addressed more than 25,000 potential safety issues like abandoned vehicles, graffiti and overgrown lots.

— Chicago Public Schools

Beginning on August 26, Safe Passage routes will be monitored in the morning and afternoon by community workers, who will receive specialized training on how to keep students safe. Community workers are expected to be a consistent presence along the routes and will stay in regular contact with the CPD and welcoming school principals.

Chicago firefighters have also been asked to “mobilize” during the first three weeks of the school season to “show a presence.”

Safe Passage maps for Chicago Public Schools …
www.cps.edu/safepassage

Chicago News and Weather | FOX 32 News


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