U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

School Liaison-Concepts and Issues Paper

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2010
8 pages
Designed to accompany the "Model Policy on School Liaison" (See NCJ-231329) developed by the International Association of Chiefs of Police National Law Enforcement Policy Center, this paper provides essential background material and supporting documentation for understanding the developmental philosophy and implementation requirements for the model policy.
Introductory background information notes the context for police involvement in enforcement or quasi-enforcement activities on school property during school hours or during school-sanctioned events. Drug use, violence, and other criminal activity in schools have posed significant problems for law enforcement agencies in almost every jurisdiction. In the course of dealing with such incidents, officers must walk a fine and often ill-defined legal path. An understanding of the limits upon police authority in this context and its relationship to the authority exercised by school administrators and staff is important. The legal issues and policy recommendations addressed in the Model Policy on School Liaison are reviewed and discussed in the remainder of this paper. They encompass interviews and interrogations of students, including interviews of students believed to be victims; arrests of students; and searches of students and property. Topics addressed under searches are searches by school officials compared to searches by police, the "reasonableness" standard required for searches, searches with dogs, and searches by a school security officer who is not a sworn law enforcement officer. 47 notes