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School COP: A Software Package for Enhancing School Safety: Final Report

NCJ Number
189246
Author(s)
Tom Rich; Peter Finn
Date Published
July 2001
Length
123 pages
Annotation
This report describes the NIJ-funded development and assessment of a computer software package named School Crime Operations Package (School COP) to support data collection and analysis to document and track criminal and noncriminal incidents in schools.
Abstract
The project aimed to develop software that school administrators, school district security staff, and police officers assigned to schools could use to enter, analyze, and map incidents without formal training and without the need for other software. The design used input from police and school officials in 16 jurisdictions, together with testing at several sites during January-June 2000. A fully functioning version of the software, including online help and a sample database containing 100 incidents at a fictitious school, was available in mid-January 2001. Distribution took place in response to direct requests and through a training conference series. A preliminary assessment of the software gathered information through telephone interviews in March 2001 with 56 persons who received the software by early February. Preliminary findings indicated that one quarter to one half of individuals who received the software were likely to use it. More detailed interviews with the 15 current users revealed that having information available for meetings with school officials and other stakeholders was the main reason for using the software. Users generally had not entered enough data to use the program’s capabilities to promote changes in prevention, enforcement, or school discipline, although three users had used the software to produce changes. 21 references and appended user manual

Date Published: July 1, 2001