Chicago HS principals to meet with police weekly

November 30, 2011 3:28:29 PM PST
Chicago Public Schools and police plan to work more closely together to improve student safety. They will be sharing information so police and school officials can better keep track of students who cause problems in school or run into trouble with the law outside the classroom.

Compstat is a crime-fighting technique that was introduced to Chicago police back in June by Superintendent Garry McCarthy who brought it here from New York. Now police, school officials and the mayor have teamed up to bring Compstat to high schools as a way to increase safety and reduce crime in and around schools.

After years of problems, John Marshall High School on the West Side was declared a turnaround school a couple of years ago. The principal says she has noticed a distinct change for the better.

"They come to school, they have a nurturing environment. Teachers that are phenomenal, security that is phenomenal," said Principal Kenyatta Stansberry, John Marshall High School.

Security is one reason why Stansberry says attendance is up from 52 percent to 80 percent. There was an emphasis on working with the district police commander to stay ahead of any conflicts between students that may be brewing in the school or in the community.

"When you look at the data and when you look at Monday morning, sometimes we have to deal with incidents in school that happened over the weekend," said Stansberry.

Now security at Marshall and all high schools will be stepped up a notch with the implementation of Compstat. In this case, Chicago Public High School principals will hold weekly meetings with police district commanders to talk about crimes in and around schools and devise strategies to combat them.

"The idea is ensure that the cop on the street knows exactly what's going on in the school and the principal in the school knows what the cop on the street is doing," said McCarthy.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined McCarthy and Chicago Public Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard in announcing the use of Compstat in schools. He says it will bridge any gap between principals, police and religious leaders and the three institutions will come together and share information about student tensions inside and outside school buildings.

"I want our children to have a mindset that it's safe to go the school and to be in school," said Emanuel.

Brizard said that other safety measures, such as safe passage which aims to make the commute for student to and from school a safe one, are still in place.

The first school-based Compstat meeting will take place in two weeks.


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