The Effectiveness of School Resource Officers: A Longitudinal Analysis

John A. Humphrey, University of North Carolina - Greensboro
Meredith Huey, University of North Carolina - Greensboro

Analyses are provided of a two-year longitudinal study of school resource officer programs in nine high schools in a Northern New England state. Because none of these schools previously had a SRO program, a pre-post evaluation was conducted. A voluntary, confidential, self-administered questionnaire was given to random samples of sophomores, juniors and seniors in each high school, and to a random sample of their fulll-time teachers. The surveys were conducted at the beginning and at the end of the 1999-2000 academic year. Perceptions of their school's safety and learning environment, and the extent of delinquent behaviors were considered. The findings show that students and teachers who were favorable toward having a School Resource Officer in their school continued to do so at the end of the first year. Students and teachers who were initially not in favor of a SRO, thought the safety and learning environment of the school had markedly improved, and advocated the retention of the SRO. In addition, students who engaged in delinquent behaviors in school prior to the arrival of the SRO were significantly less likely to do so at the end of the academic year.

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Updated 05/20/2006