Author(s)

Stephen Clipper

Date Approved

8-15-2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. Criminal Justice

Department

Law and Justice Studies

College

College of Humanities & Social Sciences

First Advisor

Connell, Nadine

Subject(s)

School police

Disciplines

Criminology and Criminal Justice

Abstract

School Resource Officer (SRO) Programs are a widely implemented community policing initiative in schools. The limited research on SRO Programs suggests that there are implementation differences between programs. This study explores the effect that implementation style has on program effectiveness as measured by student perceptions of safety as well as student reporting behaviors. This study found mixed results. Direct analyses revealed students who attend schools with community-oriented SRO programs feel slightly safer. Multi-level modeling was utilized to determine the effects that individual and school level variables have on perceptions of safety and on the ability of SRO programs to affect student perceptions. The results of this analysis indicated that none of the included school level variables had an effect on perceptions of safety. SRO program orientation could not be included in multilevel analysis due to sample size limitations. Reporting behavior was also unaffected by SRO program implementation. Students attending schools with community-oriented SRO programs were slightly more likely to indicate reporting to "no one" than law enforcement oriented programs. The benefits of a School Resource Officer are still debated in the literature; this research will be able to begin to parse out the components of a successful SRO program.

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