St. Joseph currently offers several safety programs geared towards elementary school children.

Dedicated Officer Program:

Currently we have two officers who are serving two elementary schools each and one officer who serves the High School. These officers are responsible for public education in those schools and in the case of the High School officer, he assists the patrol and detective bureau with any investigations that involve students or crimes that have happened at the High School. The elementary dedicated officers use close circuit t.v., classroom visits and assemblies to convey safety messages to the boys and girls and from time to time will eat lunch with the students in the buildings that they are assigned to.

Students in participating classrooms will get to know their officer not only as a public safety officer but also as a real person.

Community Child Watch Program:

The St. Joseph Public School District participates in the Michigan Community Child Watch Program. For over 20 years the St. Joseph Community Child Watch Program has been protecting our school students in their neighborhoods and throughout the entire school district.

The Child Watch Program instructs the adult sign holders in how to observe, record and report suspicious activity. Those requesting signs at their homes must attend a training session put on by local law enforcement and submit to a police record check for all those who are in the house that are 18 years of age or older.

The students are trained to avoid situations that might put them at risk from not only strangers but also bicycle, pedestrian and water safety situations.

Bicycle Safety:

Bicycle safety is taught to elementary students. Topics include proper safety gear, local laws and ordinances that cover safe operations of a bicycle, and how to safely co-exist with vehicle traffic for those old enough to ride in the street.


The McGruff Program features McGruff the Crime Dog. The program warns young people about the dangers of strangers and how to tell an adult when something is wrong.

Stranger Danger:

Stranger Danger is taught in a classroom setting. This covers the dangers of young children associating with strangers and how to avoid those situations. This works hand in hand with our involvement in the Michigan Community Child Watch Program.

Child Fingerprinting:

Fingerprints are taken of all Kindergarten and new students in the elementary buildings that are serviced by the St. Joseph Public Safety Department.

The fingerprints are then turned over to a parent and no child is fingerprinted without parental authorization.

Latch Key Program for Children:

The Latch Key Program designed for children who stay home alone covers a variety of topics including 9-1-1, how to secure your home and what to do in case of an emergency.

Safety Pup:

The Safety Pup Program is designed for young children. This program covers several issues such as traffic, playground, bus and home safety.


Although 9-1-1 is briefly included in some of the programs already mentioned, this is a more specific 9-1-1 training course and is presented to Kindergarten students and the lower elementary grades.

Law Enforcement as a Career:

This is designed for upper elementary or middle school students who may be thinking about going into Law Enforcement. This program describes responsibilities of law enforcement officers plus includes discussion on different jobs available inside the Public Safety Department such as the Dive Team, Tactical Team, Haz Mat, Etc.

Read to Me:

The Read To Me Program involves a uniformed officer coming into the classroom and reading a book to the children. After the reading the officer will discuss the book with them. The officer will also talk to the children about the importance of staying in school to fulfil their dreams of a career.

If you have any questions about these topics, please contact the City and we will be glad to help you.

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