City partners with FWCS, Mad Ants on safety awareness program - November 19, 2009

Record Number: 5673
Displayed from: Nov 19, 2009 , until: Dec 19, 2009

Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry joined representatives from the Fort Wayne Police Department, Fort Wayne Community Schools and the Fort Wayne Mad Ants today to announce the new Safe Haven program where children in unsafe situations can take refuge. The Mayor gathered in front of the home of Harrison Hill Neighborhood Association President Jan Davis and her husband, Jim Davis, as the first home to participate in the program. "I have championed the idea of a 'safe home' program for Fort Wayne since before I took office," Mayor Henry said. "I would like to thank the Police Department, Fort Wayne Community Schools and the Mad Ants for stepping up to make this program a reality and giving our city's children the opportunity to stay safe, both through knowledge and Safe Haven locations." The Safe Haven program, consisting of background-checked businesses, homes and schools, is an extension of the Police Department's Mad Ants Safety Awareness Program that teaches elementary students in Fort Wayne Community Schools about safety concerns children may face in person and online. "Making sure children are safe in and out of school is a critical component of ensuring they are academically successful," FWCS Security Director John H. Weicker said. "We are happy to be a part of this partnership that teaches students how to keep themselves safe and gives them a secure place to go in their neighborhood when they feel threatened." Participating homes and businesses will have the Safe Haven decal displayed in their front windows. The businesses and residents will go through the necessary background check before being accepted into the program. "The Mad Ants are proud to join with the Fort Wayne Police Department, Fort Wayne Community Schools, and the City of Fort Wayne to offer the FWPD - Mad Ants Safety Awareness Program, which is being made possible with the generous support of ITT Corporation and Comcast," said Jeff Potter, Mad Ants president. "This great program continues the hard work of the Police Department and FWCS in their efforts to make this community safer for our kids. With the Safe Haven network and the safety awareness school programs, we hope to provide kids with the information and resources to lead a safe, productive life here in Fort Wayne." The program organizers would like to see homes and businesses throughout Fort Wayne participating in the program. Businesses and residents located in the city who want to be part of the Safe Haven network need to call Jeff Johnson at 469-4667x110. "Regardless whether residential or business environments, our children are within these communities daily and to know that our residents as well our businesses are to be part of this Safe Haven initiative speaks volumes to our continued efforts in assuring the safety of Fort Wayne's children," said Police Chief Rusty York. "I look forward to seeing these Safe Haven decals in the windows of homes and businesses in all corners of Fort Wayne." The program sponsors are the Fort Wayne Police Department, Mad Ants, ITT, Comcast and Fort Wayne Community Schools.

With nearly 30,000 students, Fort Wayne Community Schools is one of the largest school districts in Indiana. FWCS proudly allows families to choose any of its 50 schools through its successful school-choice program creating diversity in each school, including some with more than 75 languages spoken. FWCS offers seven magnet schools focusing on areas such as science and math, communication, fine arts or Montessori at the elementary and middle school level. In high school, students can choose from the prestigious International Baccalaureate program, Project Lead the Way or New Tech Academy as well as other rigorous academic and specialty training programs.