DETROIT – Detroit schools will now have their own police force.
In a June 8 meeting, school board members voted 10-1 for a separate department.
The new force will allow the district to swear in its own officers, process arrests and increase the number of officers without approval of the city police. It will also allow the district to apply for grants and federal funding, although the overhead for a separate agency might be greater than that of the current arrangement.
Some believe officers from a district-controlled agency will be better able to distinguish the students who are merely troubled from those who are hardened criminals. Additionally, many parents believe this new agency will be less heavy-handed in its treatment of students than the Detroit Police Department.
Currently, the district manages 330 security officers and 80 police officers. The change is supported by Detroit Police Chief Ella Bully-Cummings and Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy.