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, Physical Plant & Equipment Levy (PPEL), and statewide 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 is a critical component of the district’s safety/security 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 key blanks, preventing duplication of door keys outside our school district
  • Intruder locks for classrooms doors, allowing for classrooms to be immediately locked from the inside
  • Increased supervisory controls of main entrances, directing visitors to office areas and restricting access to other parts of the school
  • Key card access entry at all school buildings
  • Landscaping to limit visual barriers
  • Upgrading fire alarm systems to include both visual and audio devices
  • Steady reduction of mobile classrooms which were eliminated by 2019

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. More than a thousand cameras monitor building exteriors and common spaces in our schools. In addition, each routed school bus is equipped with an on-board video camera.

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