Safe Routes to School


The Detroit Public Schools Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program is a component of the National Youth Violence Prevention Initiative sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Education. Detroit is an inaugural member of what is soon to be 15 national members.

Detroit Public Schools’ unique approach focuses on leveraging multiple law enforcement groups in concert with businesses and community members to ensure students are safe walking to and from home to school.

SRTS  (Detroit  Partnership)SRTS is part of a comprehensive “Sustainable Student Safety Framework” that integrates external and in-school factors impacting safety. The framework elements include:

Collaboration and coordination of law enforcement partners:

  • Detroit Public Schools Police Department and Command Center
  • Over 33 SRTS Hub Zones, and individual school safe routes
  • Detroit Police Department– Neighborhood Police Bureau
  • Detroit Animal Control
  • Wayne County Sheriff’s Office Vehicle Patrol
  • Michigan State Police event support
  • Detroit Crime Commission
  • IMG_3352D-DOT and school bus/corner stops
  • Volunteer Vehicle and Citizen Patrols city-wide
  • Coordination of external school issues impacting SRTS, such as:
    • Enhanced LED Street Light Replacements along walking paths
    • Upgraded lighting at selected bus stops
    • Identification of blighted property board–ups or demolitions
  • Implementation of SRTS signage and vehicle traffic safety concerns
  • Engagement of Residents, Community and Business Eyes & Ears
  • Mobilization of Neighborhood Organizational Engagements

Coordination of in-school issues impacting SRTS, such as:

  • Enforcement of Code of Conduct and Dress Code
  • Improving Culture and Climate

IMG_1620Our Mission

To ensure children and their family members are safe and secure traveling to and from school during normal school operating hours.


Students and their families are safe throughout the city as they walk to and from school, capitalizing on world class learning opportunities.

Strategy to WIN

Effectively pool resources, collaborate and leverage investments and human capital to deliver the greatest value related to our common interests, protecting children and enabling a high quality education.


  • Engage 700,000 people within or moving through the city in a sustainable student safety process
  • Maximize the value of lessons learned across all Safe Route programs
  • Administer the Safe Routes program and make it easy for volunteers to participate
  • Maximize overall safety and security within a two-mile radius for every Detroit based school
  • Synchronize robust SRTS enforcement work activities in concert with collaborative school and community efforts to accelerate positive change
  • Establish an agile Safe Route framework to address unique community needs
  • Operate through a results and performance driven process that maximizes the value delivered to students, families and communities
  • Establish sustainable partnerships and a fiscally responsible funding program for the next three years

IMG_1632Desired Outcomes

  • Eliminate and deter external student safety problems through visible and responsive law enforcement and community participation during critical transition time frames
  • Collaborate with in-school leadership to reduce or eliminate issues that may catalyze beginning, in-school and end-of-day safety concerns
  • Sustainably access resources to transform the external walking routes by eliminating safety hazards and discouraging violence through multi-faceted positive youth and community engagements
  • Utilize local schools to build community capability and capacity to eliminate violence and create positive cultures and climates, that in term enable youth and adults access to educational opportunities, skills, jobs and social services

Our collective success will result in fluid pathways from homes to schools where students, parents and community members experience relevant and differentiating educational experiences that sustain empowers their community.

IMG_2887Volunteer Type

Volunteer Vehicle Patrols: Citizens, in their vehicles, will drive the identified routes, to include but not limited to, up to a 2.0 mile radius around the school. Volunteer Vehicle Patrols work on a regular schedule patrolling their neighborhood in highly-visible, specially-marked vehicles.

VVP’s are familiar with the daily routines in the area and can quickly spot unusual occurrences. Volunteers are asked to commit to a year of patrolling during the following times: 7-9 a.m., 2-4 p.m. and 4-8 p.m. There is no minimum number of days required per week, but volunteers are asked to commit to at least one of the full-time slots. Trainings will be held at 8500 Cameron St. Detroit, 48211 (DPSPD Headquarters) and other sites to be named in the near future.

Walking School Buses: Groups of children who walk designated routes to school under adult(s) supervision, picking up students along the way, similar to a bus. For some, it’s a casual group walk. Others may wear “Yellow Jackets”, while some volunteers set up a formal plan with adults scheduled to walk on certain days.

Other opportunities include Bicycle Patrol.

Eyes & EarsEyes and Ears: Is an observation and reporting initiative to assist the entire district/city with the daily observations in and around the school community. Please watch out for students and report suspicious behaviors, blight and tall grass, etc. regularly to DPS-PD by calling 313-748-6000. We believe that all volunteers will become more familiar with their community and be able to recognize suspicious activities near and around schools on a regular basis.

Other opportunities include Business, Resident and Corporate Lookouts.

IMG_2766How to Become a Volunteer

Register now to become a volunteer or Download PDF Registration Form. Please complete the registration form and return it to the Office of Parent and Community Engagement: Fax (313) 873-7446 or email If you need additional information, please call 313-240-4DPS (4377) or 313-873-7490.


With the newly expanded model of the Safe Routes program, the City of Detroit is defined by 33 zones. Detroit Public Schools’ 97 school campuses, EAA Schools, Charter Schools and Independent Schools are included in the expanded model to ensure student safety city-wide. Schools are currently seeking volunteers for the expanded Eyes & Ears and Volunteer Patrols at several locations throughout the city.

Download PDF – 33 Hub Zone Schools

Partners and Supporters

  • AAA
  • AmeriCorps Urban Safety Planning
  • Black Family Development
  • Brothers on Patrol
  • Community Volunteers
  • Detroit Animal Control
  • Detroit Citizen Patrols
  • Detroit Department of Neighborhoods
  • Detroit Department of Transportation
  • DPS Foundation
  • Detroit Police Department
  • Detroit Public Lighting Department
  • Detroit Public Schools Police Department
  • Detroit Youth Violence Prevention
  • Kellogg Foundation
  • Local Businesses and Institutions
  • Parents and Families
  • Man-Network
  • Michigan State Police
  • Neighborhood Groups
  • North End
  • S. Department of Education
  • S. Department of Justice
  • Skillman Foundation
  • Wayne County Sheriff’s Office
  • Wayne State Safety Authority
  • Wayne State University
  • Volunteer Vehicle Patrol Groups

All Detroit residents are asked to turn on their porch lights in immediate school neighborhoods and report any crime to the DPS Police Department at (313) 748-6000.

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