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School COP Evaluation Report, Final Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2004
99 pages
This report describes the enhancement and evaluation of the School Crime Operations Package (School COP), used by schools to analyze incidents that occur on school campuses.
In 1999, funding from the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) was granted to Abt Associates to design "Safe Schools Technology." The result was the School COP software system that runs on Windows personal computers. In 2001, Abt Associates submitted a proposal to NIJ to extend the School COP program so it could support multiple users and multi-school use and to evaluate the program. Two types of enhancements were made to School COP: (1) the original Windows version was enhanced to support multiple users within a single school and allow multiple schools to share data, and (2) a Web version was developed to run on a school's Intranet to facilitate school district-wide data sharing. The evaluation of the School COP programs focused on three main issues: (1) the decisionmaking process of sites considering the School COP program; (2) the implementation obstacles; and (3) the benefits garnered from using the School COP program. Six sites were evaluated that used the enhanced Windows version while one site was evaluated that used the Web version of School COP. Two main benefits were realized at sites using the Windows version: (1) operational benefits of allowing staff to perform tasks more efficiently, and (2) enhanced decisionmaking and problem solving capabilities. Only one site implemented the Web version because, first the Windows version met almost all sites' data dissemination needs, and second because it was viewed as a less than optimal technology solution. However, the widespread and successful use of the Windows version illustrates the important role of NIJ in the future of technological information dissemination. Two main predictors for successful information technology projects emerged from the evaluation findings: (1) have minimal requirements for running the system and (2) have a well-defined user and a well-defined need. Exhibits, references, appendix

Date Published: May 1, 2004