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The Alignment Between Community Policing and the Work of School Resource Officers

NCJ Number
Police Quarterly Volume: 25 Issue: 4 Dated: 2022 Pages: 561-587
Date Published
27 pages

This study assesses whether the duties of school resource officers (SROs) align with a community policing (CP) framework.


This study finds that school resource officers’ (SROs) described activities align well with three dimensions of community policing (CP)—community partnerships, problem-solving, and organizational adaptation—suggesting that a CP framework may be a strong model for organizing and describing the work of SROs. This framework can be viewed as an initial proof of concept, and research may elaborate on the framework and assess its utility. Despite a growing literature showing the ineffectiveness of SROs for reducing school crime, their use is widespread. Some of this ineffectiveness may arise from SROs’ experiences of role conflict due to their multi-faceted roles and conflicting expectations associated with following two authority structures. Community policing (CP) may offer a unifying perspective that can address some of these barriers. The current study uses data from 119 qualitative interviews with SROs from three U.S. states to examine the extent to which SROs’ activities align with the three dimensions of CP. (Published Abstract Provided)

Date Published: January 1, 2022