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School Liaison Model Policy

NCJ Number
Date Published
February 1997
2 pages
The International Association of Chiefs of Police National Law Enforcement Policy Center presents a model policy and associated procedures for police officers in responding to calls for service that deal with incidents on school property during school hours or during school-sanctioned events.
The parameters of the policy are set by the limitations and requirements placed on law enforcement officers by law and the responsibility of school authorities for the supervision of children under their care. The model policy addresses the following areas of law enforcement activities in responding to incidents during school hours or during school-sanctioned events: interviewing/interrogating students, arrest/removal of students, and searching students and property. Among the requirements for interviewing/interrogating students are consultation with the school principal or his/her designate prior to interviewing/interrogating students in order to explain the purpose of the interview/interrogation. School officials should summon the youths to a private interview room or other appropriate area for the questioning and may be present during the questioning, but should not participate in the questioning. Among the procedures for the arrest/removal of students is the requirement that the school principal or his/her designate, as well as the student's parents/guardian or responsible adult, are notified of the student's removal from school property. In addition, officers should avoid making arrests on school grounds when they may be made effectively elsewhere, particularly if the use of force is a reasonable possibility. Regarding procedures for searching students and property on school premises, they generally are subject to the same legal requirements for a search warrant and probable cause as other searches by officers. School officials may conduct searches of students and their property without a warrant, but this requires reasonable suspicion that a law has been violated.