Public school districts and police departments in the United States often collaborate to address school-based violence and other threats to the safety and well-being of students, teachers, and staff.
As a result of these partnerships, law enforcement officers have become an increasingly common presence in schools around the country, even at the elementary school level. But what does research tell us about the impact of school-based law enforcement on school safety outcomes?
The WestEd Justice & Prevention Research Center has produced a new brief titled “What Do We Know About the Effects of School-Based Law Enforcement on School Safety? that presents a definition of school-based law enforcement and summarizes some of the relevant research about its effects on students and schools.
The authors found little rigorous evaluative research on the effects of having a police presence in schools, but they see promise in future studies that have potential to inform school and district leaders, as well as policymakers.