Pennsylvania legislators are asking for $50 million to fund the placement of safety monitors around school campuses with the hopes of preventing gun violence.
“Safe path” programs aim to keep children safe by hiring unarmed community members to stand guard on school perimeters. These monitors keep eyes out for suspicious activity around campus, defuse arguments between students, walk children to and from home or public transit, and provide mentorship.
Chicago created a Safe Passage program in 2010, now serving 172 schools with 1,200 monitors. A 2019 Journal of Urban Economics study found that crime around the Safe Passage routes dropped 14% after Chicago schools implemented the program.
State Sen. Sharif Street, a Philadelphia Democrat, said the funding should come from the state’s multi-billion dollar budget surplus.
“We’ve had too many incidents across the commonwealth where young people haven’t made it to school safely,” he said. “There are folks who are working day and day to make sure that happens.”