Did you ever wonder what it was like when your parents or grandparents were kids or do you remember back-in-the-day? Were things very different?  

When I was in first grade, the neighborhood bully used to chase me home. He was a couple years older. His name was Michael, and he was what my nightmares were made of. Every neighborhood has a Michael.  

Every child has someone or thing that seems threatening: the dark, monsters in the closet, evil clowns, and other fanciful things. 

Real dangers have always existed too. Drivers, who think stop signs are optional, speed through residential neighborhoods; bad storms creep up out of no where; and clumsiness and gullibility are just a part of being a kid. Children fall over, down, up, off and into things. Strangers with smiles and candy and possibly a lost puppy always seem believable. Accidents happen, and evil lurks. "The more things change, the more they remain the same." Yet something used to be different.

From my bus stop, I walked maybe a block, I turned right and I could see my home at the end of the street. When Michael (and his gang of devils on tiny bikes) chased me, I could run. I could run to so many places. While Michael was the sole villain of my first years of school, there were many heroes. Mrs. F. lived in front of my bus stop. If she was home, she would wave at me. I think she is the reason that someone on my street knew that I was coming. Mrs. O's house always smelled like apple-pie or chocolate chip cookies baking. I knew how to get into her yard. Mr. C. had no children. He had a dog named Fig, Fig was likeable; Old Mr, C. barked and growled at everyone. The plant lady had window boxes of flowers and hanging plants everywhere. I could get into her gate too. Mrs. L and "Uncle Bill" lived next to me. Mr. L. had been promoted to family status after he pushed me on a swing once. The list goes on.

I saw one or more of these characters every day. They did not sacrifice much time.
They did not spend any money. They did not pull me out of a burning building or wear a red cape and fly, but I knew if something went wrong, felt wrong, I could run to any one of them.

This was the difference: The good people, working together, ran that neighborhood.  

Each person did whatever he or she could. These were only a few of the people who knew that it takes a village to raise a child. All of them believed that what happened to any child, even Michael, was absolutely their business.
My parents knew too. They knew the names of the neighborhood kids, where each one belonged, who was worrying about them or if they did not have such people for one reason or another. No child was alone. The eyes and the ears of the neighbors were ever-present. Kids had safe paths and safe havens.  

It takes a village to raise a child. It always has. It always will.  
Evil is still everywhere, and now it does not seem to hide. It is more vigilant, more devious, more determined, more advanced. If good people respond with apathy, our children will pay the price.  

Children today face so much more than little mischief makers. They need more. They know more than any child should probably know.  

People, everyday good people, feel helpless to remedy the problems and overwhelmed by their own daily routines, so instead of doing a little,
they throw up their hands, plow blindly straight ahead and do nothing. They think that all efforts are futile anyway. They forget to run their neighborhoods. They forget their own power. 

Every good person can to do something: bark at a kid to "look both ways" or watch the school children as they go to and from school, maybe push a swing. It takes very little to become an indelible part of a child's happy memories. Your presence, simply standing there, reminds kids of the goodness that endures, the innocence of days gone by. Your presence can encourage a kid, prevent an accident and discourage a predator. What you do now will be remembered.

Heroes are not super humans who leap tall buildings in a single bound. They are just citizens who make sure children are aware that goodness exists. They are guardians and role models. They make sure that children have a childhood. 

We are each other's business. The neighborhoods are ours. We share a responsibility to those more vulnerable, and we will leave a shared legacy to the next generations.  

Please do think everything is beyond your control. You are not powerless. You are the safe corridor. You are the hope. Do not be what is missing. 

It’s up to us
No child should be afraid of going to or coming home from school. Sadly, many are. That’s why the Safe Corridor Program is necessary.

"If a child doesn't feel safe, he or she is probably not going to learn very well…
We are creating corridor’s
so that the children can attend school without fear and concentrate on learning."  
Anthony Murphy
Town Watch Integrated Services

It is incontestable that our neighborhoods are in a state of crisis. Crime, violence, and fear are facts of neighborhood life.

When children travel to and from school without adult supervision, this unfortunate reality threatens their safety. The Safe Corridor Program–where volunteers daily monitor a select route that is most heavily traveled by students in a particular neighborhood–is one promising strategy to address this problem.

As a collaboration between the community and the school, Safe Corridor provides a security blanket over the neighborhood, providing safety for not only the children but also for the local residents and businesses. Volunteers, identified by wearing bright vests and carrying walkie-talkies, report one-half hour prior to school's opening and one-half hour prior to dismissal time. The corridor that they monitor serves as a base where information can be gathered and circulated to various agencies.

The Office of School Climate wants to assist any school in the District that would like to implement the Safe Corridor Program in their school's community.

If just one child is kept out of harm's way, then this effort will be worthwhile.

Lt. Maurice Tunstall
Office of School Climate and Safety,
School Police Operations

The mission of Town Watch Integrated Services is to create a safe environment around all our children’s schools by collaborating with parents, guardians, business owners, educators, government officials
and police officers.

Through this collaboration, TWIS can work to deploy the most comprehensive school Safe-Corridor-Program solutions available. 

Town Watch Integrated Services has been at the forefront of the Safe Corridor Program since 1990.

TWIS understands security issues and a child’s need to feel safe on the way to and from school

TWIS has the expertise to assess the best routes for children to travel and to assemble and train the appropriate Safe Corridor teams to make it work.  

TWIS has secured more than 30 educational institutions, and it has the experience to help you with yours. 

Working together, TWIS can develop a Safe Corridor Program for your students, so they can focus on what's really important— education.

patrol volunteers needed

Safe Corridors is a collaborative effort among Town Watch Integrated Services, the Police District, businesses, schools and the school communities to provide additional supervision and safety for students as they travel to and from school. 

While on well-lit, high-traffic corridors, students will know that there are safe havens along the route and that parents and staff are traveling the corridors, ensuring their safe passage. 

The District has Safe Corridors in many of its schools, but the next step is to increase the number of patrol volunteers. This is important because the program, like any neighborhood-watch program, will be more effective with more help.  

Volunteers should be vigilant, watch from home as well as when they patrol or travel throughout the city. 

Safe Corridor members work in teams, share information and report anything suspicious or out of the ordinary to the police and school officials.
​ Implement Safe Corridor Program
 What is Walk Safe Philly