School-Based Law Enforcement

...that the role of school-based law enforcement officer is not universally defined and can vary greatly depending on the needs and expectations of the school.

At the most basic level, a school-based police officer, commonly known as a school resource officer (SRO), is a sworn police officer who is employed in a school, or a group of schools, with the goal of promoting a safe learning environment. Beyond that definition, the particular responsibilities of SROs vary from campus to campus and are subject to a host of influences.1 Tasks performed by SROs may include providing security at school events, patrolling school grounds, assisting with traffic flow during drop off and pickup times, and teaching, in addition to many others.2 It is critical to remember that the role of school-based law enforcement officer is not universally defined and can vary greatly depending on the needs and expectations of the school.1 Alongside this variation in expectations exists a range of factors that determine an officer’s effectiveness in helping build a safe learning space, factors that are still being explored through research about student outcomes.3,4,5

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Articles

Thinking About the School-to-Prison Pipeline

August 2016

This article explores the school-to-prison pipeline concept and the factors that are believed to contribute to its existence. Research on this topic is summarized to provide an understanding of the evidence available. Given the current evidence, suggestions are offered for using research to inform policy and practice, while considering the unique context of individual students and school environments.(Read more…)

The Evolving Role of Police in Schools

February 2016

As the role of police in the community has been dynamic throughout history, school-based law enforcement officers have expanded their range of duties since they were first assigned to schools. Many school districts in Texas, and across the country, have assigned law enforcement officers to their campuses. However, not all school-based law enforcement officers have the same role, because police and educational... (Read more…)


A Brief History of School-Based Law Enforcement

February 2016

The first time a law enforcement officer was permanently assigned to a United States school was in Flint, Michigan in the late 1950’s. The purpose of assigning police to school during this time was to provide a proactive approach to crime on the school grounds. The program was titled the “Police-School Liaison Program,” and administrators’ early opinions of it were generally... (Read more…)