Yvonne Caamal Canul, Lansing School District Superintendent says the School Watch program puts the community behind the district. "Our core mission is instruction. Of course we want to make sure that all of our schools are safe on the inside. But there are things about the neighborhood that we just can't control. We don't have the scope of resources to be able to do that."
The city of Lansing will have extra eyes and ears on the streets when the school year begins. The police department has launched a new School Watch program. Mayor Virg Bernero says it will be an extra layer of support in the fight against crime. "We can't station police officers around the schools and follow every child home but we felt we could do more."
Trained volunteers will be in marked cars and armed with a cell phone to patrol neighborhoods after school hours. The volunteers will also be easily identified by their yellow school watch vest. Lansing Police Chief Mike Yankowski says, "Even though they're not in a police uniform, they're visible with their vests, with the car, and they have cell phones. If trouble is brewing, they can pick up the phone and call the Lansing Police Department. We'll have officers nearby already in the neighborhoods."
Sparrow Hospital donated $10,000 to get the School Watch program up and running.
Lansing's Mayor and Police Chief say the program needs more volunteers. There is no set time commitment. If you are interested, call 517-483-4600.