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Detroit — Detroit schools are safer this year than they were for the same time period in 2013, school officials announced Monday.

The Detroit Public School system announced that crime-related incidents were down 24.7 percent on school campuses as compared to the first three months of school in 2013.

According to data compiled by the DPS Police Department on the district’s schools and buildings, reported incidents dropped from 456 to 343.

“Parents have consistently told me that their number one concern is school safety,” DPS Emergency Manager Jack Martin said. “My promise to parents has been that we will do everything within our power to ensure that their children are safe and secure in our school buildings.

“These new stats are proof that DPS and its Police Department are living up to that promise. The safer students feel, the more likely they will be to achieve greater academic results.”

The DPS offered the following numbers on reported serious incidents:

Weapon possessions dropped from four incidents in 2013 to three in 2014.

Miscellaneous assaults dropped from 60 to 40 incidents.

Breaking and entering for open structures dropped from 75 to 13 incidents.

Sexual assaults declined from 12 incidents in 2013 to eight incidents in 2014.

“Much of the decline in reported incidents can be attributed to a renewed culture of collaboration with the DPS police force, citizen patrols, our academic departments, principals, students and our contracted security officers,” DPS Police Chief Stacy Brackens said. “Working together, we can ensure that we are doing everything possible to make our schools as safe as possible.”

According to Brackens, school initiatives include seminars on issues facing students including bullying, sexting and life skills behaviors, ongoing training with school officials and security officers as well as neighborhood patrols in areas heavily populated by students.

DPS made its announcement of the decline in reported criminal activity on the same day the district is honoring its many citizen patrol volunteers who keep children safer when traveling to and from school.

In October, the patrol program received a significant boost when AAA of Michigan announced a donation of $200,000 to Detroit Public Schools to keep students safe while traveling to and from school as part of a comprehensive Safe Routes to School strategy.

There is no minimum number of days required per week for citizen patrollers, but volunteers are asked to commit to at least one of the full-time slots.

To volunteer, call (313) 240-4377.

TGreenwood@detroitnews.com(313) 222-2023

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