The Role of Police Officers in Schools: Effects on the Recording and Reporting of Crime
Devlin, Deanna Nicole
Gottfredson, Denise C
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Deploying police officers, known as School Resource Officers (SROs), in schools has become a popular strategy to prevent and reduce school crime. The existing literature mostly examines the presence of SROs and their effects on crime outcomes. This study sought to examine whether differing SRO role approaches influence school crime recording/reporting differently. The study used a constructed longitudinal sample (n = 475) from the School Survey on Crime and Safety (SSOCS) for the years 2004, 2006, and 2008. The findings supported the hypothesis that police presence would be associated with more recording and reporting of crimes. Further, and contrary to hypotheses, schools with SROs who provided mentoring or teaching in addition to law enforcement functions, but not schools with SROs who provided only law enforcement, were more likely to record and report crime than schools without police. Recommendations for future research and policy implications are discussed.