Safety & Security


DMPS employs public safety officers who are at the top of their field. Many are former police officers.

Creating and maintaining a safe and secure environment in our schools is a top priority for the district.  Des Moines Public Schools has utilized a number of financial resources – including our general fund, PPEL, and state-wide sales tax – to support this important work.

In addition, all schools are now controlled by card access systems and all DMPS staff are issued photo identification badges.

Other safety and security initiatives include:

With school busses logging more than 1.5 million miles per year, transportation safety and security is a critical component of the district’s tranportation program. That effort begins with making sure each bus stop is a safe location for students.

In addition, all new buses have a child-check system which sounds an alarm to assure drivers check the back of the bus for sleeping children. Currently, 60% of our buses have the systems with the number growing each year. Finally, digital cameras are installed in all route buses.

Construction & Renovation
Recent construction and renovation projects at schools throughout Des Moines have led to a number of significant security upgrades, including:

  • Restricted keys blanks, so that door keys cannot be duplicated outside our school district
  • Intruder locks for classrooms doors, allowing for classrooms to be immediately locked from the inside in case of an intruder
  • Increased supervisory controls of main entrances, directing visitors to office areas and restricting easy access to other parts of the school
  • Key card access entry at all school buildings
  • Changing landscaping to limit visual barriers
  • Upgrading fire alarms systems to both visual and audio devices
  • Continuing to reduce and eliminate the need for mobile classrooms (which have gone from 34 in 2008 to only 8 in 2012).

District Security Division
Des Moines Public Schools maintains a 24/7 security staff whose responsibilities include:

  • Staffing a centralized security station that reviews after-hour access to schools
  • Patrolling school district facilities during non-school hours
  • Monitoring alarms and dispatching appropriate personnel
  • Monitoring fire, security, and building operations system

Video Cameras
Des Moines Public Schools also makes use of video technology to monitor safety and security at school district facilities. In fact, there are more than 700 cameras that monitor building exteriors and common spaces in our schools. In addition, each routed school bus has a video camera on-board.

Security cameras are used to monitor school property, assist administrators in detecting and deterring unacceptable behavior or activities, and otherwise enforce district rules. Camera systems also provide a historical record to facilitate investigations. To read the school district’s policy on the use of video cameras, click here.

Contact the Security Desk at 242-7621