School resource officers and school incidents: a quantitative study

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University of Alabama Libraries

In the United States and abroad, violence is still plaguing our schools. During the 1990s, many schools experienced sporadic but violent occurrences of school violence (Ismaili, 2011; Yogan, 2000). Although, most violent school acts are random and school crime is down, school incidents are now a concern (Rogers, 2004; Ismaili, 2011). As a result, school incidents have become one of the major concerns of students, parents, school administrators and law enforcement. Due to increases in school incidents, many preventive programs have been created. One of the most widely used techniques for preventing school incidents are school resource officers (SROs) (Devine, 1996; Rogers, 2004; Theriot, 2009). According to the crime control model, the SRO as a law enforcement agent should control and thereby reduce routine and daily occurrences of crimes in schools; which are also called school incidents. In order to evaluate the effectiveness of SROs this study examined their ability to control thereby reduce school incidents in a total of 18 middle and high schools. Overall, this study evaluated SROs in these schools by comparing the means of the number of school incidents that occurred before and after the placement of SROs. The analyses showed that having an SRO did not decrease the total number of school incidents reported two years following their implementation. The findings also showed middle schools experiencing more occurrences of school incidents; especially assaults and weapons then high schools in regard to educational levels.

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Criminology, Public administration, Educational administration