The Role of Law Enforcement in Public School Safety: A National Survey

Julie Kiernan, University of Cincinnati
Lawrence F. Travis III, University of Cincinnati

Recent events have stimulated increased attention on the role of law enforcement in public schools. Concerns about high-profile school shootings, increased instances of drug and violent crimes, and several policy initiatives (e.g., "zero tolerance") have focused attention on the intersection between police agencies and schools. This paper presents results from a national sample of public school principals. Respondents were asked, among other things, to describe the nature and extent of law enforcement involvement in their schools. It identifies the range of roles played by law enforcement, and explores factors associated with different levels of law enforcement involvement in public schools. The paper concludes with a discussion of continuing research efforts.

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Updated 05/20/2006