The School Resource Officer and the Prevention of Violence in Schools
The presence of school resource officers in schools has become an important part of the duty to protect children on campus. Statistically speaking, the effectiveness of school resource officers is firmly established. In America, school crime is down: incidences of school-associated deaths, violence, nonfatal victimizations, and theft have all diminished since local police began partnering with school officials. Once schools are made safe, the campuses tend to stay safe. Even juvenile arrests decrease, falling nearly 50% during the period of expansion of School Resource Officer programs. Speaking as a practical matter, the presence of local police on campus is essential. The specialized knowledge of the law, local and national crime trends and safety threats, people and places in the community, and the local juvenile-justice system combine to make police critical members of schools' policy-making teams when it comes to environmental safety planning and facilities management, school-safety policy, and emergency response preparedness. In order to fully realize the benefits of the presence of local police, the officers must be trained properly. Officers' law-enforcement knowledge and skill combine with specialized SRO training for their duties in the education setting. SROs, as a result, possess a skill set unique among both law enforcement and education personnel that enables SROs to protect the community and the campus while supporting the educational mission.
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