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Integration of Law Enforcement Into School Safety: The Milwaukee Initiative

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 2005
116 pages
This study evaluated a project initiated by the Milwaukee Public Schools Division of Security and Safety designed to enhance the integration of law enforcement into school safety.
The 2-year pilot initiative (September 2001 through August 2003), was designed to increase communication and collaboration across a number of organizations in planning and policy development regarding school safety, the development of tailored strategies to enhance safety at targeted schools, and the implementation of strategies to counter specific problems in and around the target schools. The Milwaukee Police Department was central to each component of the initiative. The evaluation involved both a process focus and a limited impact focus that used both quantitative and qualitative research methods. The process evaluation collected information on the development and operation of the School Safety Council, which coordinated project activities. Since the project's time frame was relatively short, an ongoing impact evaluation could not be conducted, but there was an opportunity to evaluate police activity around the target schools for the short term. Data were obtained on project activities at the targeted schools and on drug activity around these schools. School squad officers supplied a log of incidents they had recorded during the project period. The evaluation concluded that it is possible to establish effective collaboration and partnerships to enhance the role of law enforcement in dealing with school safety issues. The level of communication between school officials and police administrators increased, along with the involvement of community agencies in school safety issues. Targeting specific problem behaviors in areas around school, notably gang activity and drug use/distribution, was a sound and effective strategy. An enhanced police presence during student transitions before and after the school day was important for school safety. Extensive tables and 5 references

Date Published: March 1, 2005