District improves safety through camera agreement with Police Department

Dearborn Public Schools and Dearborn Police Department recently approved a mutual agreement to improve safety in our buildings.

The intergovernmental agreement allows Dearborn Police to access select school cameras in real-time to assist with responding to serious emergencies. The ability to view live video can provide first responders with situational awareness, saving them time and possibly saving lives.

Cameras in schools are not new.  What is new is that certain cameras found in common areas of schools such as hallways, cafeterias and other large meeting areas will have the capability to stream live video to the Dearborn Police dispatch center. There are no plans to place cameras in classrooms. 

The live video feed is not “turned on” or monitored 24/7 and can only be accessed by select Dearborn Police employees. The live video feed would only be viewed when there is an emergency taking place at a school such as an active shooter, explosion, or medical emergency just to name a few possible situations. Dearborn Schools will have a record of who accessed a camera and when.

After months of mutual conversations and adjustments, the Board of Education approved the agreement at its Aug. 23, 2021 meeting.  The City of Dearborn approved the agreement on Sept. 14, 2021.

“The parties’ participation in such an agreement will enhance the safety of students, staff, visitors and community members and aid in the identification of intruders committing serious crimes that may cause physical harm, or in medical emergencies,” the agreement says.  The entire agreement can be found here.

The agreement also spells out that only the district has permission to access or use any recordings from the cameras.

“With approximately 23,000 people in our buildings on any given school day, it is understandable that emergencies will sometimes occur, especially medical issues,” said Superintendent Glenn Maleyko.  “This agreement is just the latest in a series of tools meant to try to prevent violence in our schools and to be fully prepared to quickly respond to any type of emergencies that might arise.”

“We thank the Dearborn Police Department for their strong relationship with the district,” Dr. Maleyko added.

When it comes to school safety, Dearborn Public Schools is very fortunate to have:

  • An outstanding and supportive Police Department dedicated to a nationally recognized Community Policing model. 
  • A very robust and successful School Resource Officer program staffed with officers dedicated to helping students succeed.
  • Highly skilled social workers in all of our buildings that work directly with students. 
  • A multi-tiered intervention system designed to help students resolve conflicts and support positive outcomes. 
  • A Safety and Security Supervisor with 30 years of law enforcement experience from patrol officer to police chief.  
  • Most importantly, we have staff, parents and students who are all committed to maintaining a school environment that is safe for all. 

The district has a strong commitment to an ongoing school safety program. This latest action by the Board further demonstrates this commitment to ensure a safe school environment for all students, staff, and visitors to our schools.