The New York State Police School Resource Officer Program: Determining the Need for a School Resource Officer

Martha Williams Deane, New York State Police Academy
T/Sgt. Renise Holohan, New York State Police
Christina Fasano, New York State Police School

The New York state Police (NYSP) has just completed its first year with an innovative School Resource Officer (SRO) program. The NYSP program is primarily managed through the School and Community Outreach Unit (SCOU) housed at the State Police Division Headquarters. The SCOU has been collecting monthly activity data from each of the SROs. We intend to examine several questions that surround the need for requesting an SRO. What was the actual need verses the perceived need? Were the juvenile crime rates higher in those areas that requested an SRO? Are there characteristic differences between the first wave of school districts and counties versus the second wave? By utilizing Uniform Crime Report statistics, census data, and the descriptive statistics collected by the SCOU, a comparative examination of juvenile crime rates and patterns in counties with and without SRO's will be discussed. Demographic characteristics of school districts will be examined to gain an understanding o those areas that have SRO's as opposed to those that do not. The NYSP program will also be examined separately by assessing those counties and school districts across the state with only New York State Police presence in comparison to those districts and counties that have other agency SRO's or no SRO. The results gained from this researdh should provide information to school boards and police agencies to make more informed policy decisions.

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Updated 05/20/2006