Firefighters recruited to join Safe Passage for CPS students

As the debate continues over the Safe Passage program for CPS students, the Chicago Fire Department has been enlisted to help with security detail.

Chicago Public Schools has been spending millions and working with Chicago Police to ramp up its safe passage efforts to get kids safely to and from their new schools.

And now, Chicago firefighters are also being asked to help.

In a memo dated May 3rd, Chicago Fire Commissioner, Jose Santiago wrote “Chicago Public Schools have asked the Chicago Fire Department to assist in its transition strategy with the closing of over 50 schools.  And that involves having a strong physical presence on each safe passage route for all welcoming schools for three weeks. ”  The head of the Fraternal Order of Police says that request shows that the Chicago Police Department is not up to the task.

Chicago Police spokesman, Adam Collins said that’s not the case.  Collins pointed out that Mayor Emanuel has enlisted every agency to be a part of the expansion of safe passage.  Collins said, While CPD is responsible for public safety throughout the city, is heavily involved in the development, implementation and facilitation of the safe passage program, we do not, nor have we ever actually staffed the routes.”

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