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updated: 8/21/2013 5:41 PM

Mayor: All of Chicago to help with 'safe passage'

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Associated Press

Workers hired to help kids get to and from school safely will be "on the front lines" when Chicago Public Schools begin classes.

But Mayor Rahm Emanuel said they won't be alone.

CPS closed about 50 schools and programs in an effort to cut costs and raise academic performance. That sparked concerns about children having to cross gang lines to get to their new schools.

CPS expanded a program known as "Safe Passage," which puts workers along designated routes help keep kids safe.

Emanuel spoke to about 1,000 of those workers during a training Wednesday at Chicago State University.

He said police, community members and city departments have been working to ensure a smooth transition.

Emanuel told the crowd "The whole city is with you."

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