The Winston-Salem/Police Foundation Safe Schools Partnership

Mary Velasco, Police Foundation
David L. Weisburd, Hebrew University/University of Maryland
Rachel Boba, Police Foundation

The Police Foundation, in cooperation with the Winston-Salem Police Department and the Winston-Salem Board of Education, has developed a partnership with the goal of improving information sharing and responses to school safety issues in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Funding for this objective was obtained through the Safe Schools Technology Solicitation which was sponsored by the National Institute of Justice in 1999. The first goal of this project is developing a cuting-edge geographic information system to analyze criminal activity and school incidents in and around Winston-Salem schools that can be used by individuals with little computer mapping experience. The second goal is to strengthen the partnership between the police department and the school district by encouraging them to share data and engage in cooperative problem-solving while using this software application. The geographic information system relies both on traditional data sources such as crime and school incident data as well as non-traditional qualitative data such as student pathways to and from school and known afterschool hangouts. The initial site for this partnership was Jersey City, New Jersey; however, the project was relocated to Winston-Salem when one of the partners in Jersey City withdrew their support. During our presentation, we plan to discuss our experiences with these two partnerships and what we have learned about facilitating a successful collaboration between police departments and school districts.

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Updated 05/20/2006