ERIC Number: EJ831279
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Effective Strategies for Developing and Fostering Positive Relationships between Principals and School-Based Police Officers
Dickmann, Ellyn M.; Cooner, Donna D.
AASA Journal of Scholarship & Practice, v4 n1 p14-20 Spr 2007
The purpose of this ethnographic study was to examine the culture of school resource officers housed in and providing law enforcement services to schools. The two overarching research questions that guided this qualitative study were: 1) What does it mean to be a school resource officer?; and 2) What do school resource officers do? Qualitative methods were used for gathering and analyzing data. Three specific data sources were used in this research. These were: (1) Information obtained from observations of a school resource officer; (2) In-depth interviews of the observed school resource officer and two additional school resource officers; and (3) In-depth interviews of 18 participants including a total of four school resource officers. Nine primary themes emerged from the study. The following are the five themes related to the structure/descriptive area of the study: (1) School resource officers are isolated; (2) School resource officers deal with many aspects of politics that are considered negative; (3) A school resource officer's primary job task is to provide a safe environment; (4) School resource officers believe their job is hampered by site-based management at the schools; and (5) School resource officers are focused on students. Four themes related to the dynamics of the school resource officer's role emerged from the data as follows: (1) A day in the life of the school resource officer is unpredictable; (2) There is ambiguity related to school resource officers living in both cultures; (3) Stress is common for school resource officers; and (4) Teasing is an integral part of the school resource officer culture. Recommendations and strategies for school districts and law enforcement agencies as they struggle with the development, implementation, and modification of school resource officer partnerships are also presented.
Descriptors: School Safety, Police, Ethnography, Law Enforcement, Methods, Police School Relationship, Responsibility, Interviews, Educational Environment, Barriers, School Based Management, Governance, School Culture, High Schools
American Association of School Administrators. 801 North Quincy Street Suite 700, Arlington, VA 22203-1730. Tel: 703-528-0700; Fax: 703-841-1543; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.aasa.org/publications/jsp.cfm
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Colorado