Shared Community School Resource Officer
Gender: Mixed (male and female)
Population served: No specific targeted population
Number of completed Canadian outcome evaluation studies: 0
Continuum of intervention: Primary crime prevention; Secondary crime prevention
In 2009, Delburne, Trochu and Elnora, three rural communities in Central Alberta, came together to sponsor the School Resource Officer (SRO) project. The communities were concerned about an increase in drug use, bullying, cyber-bullying, violence, vandalism, and risky or criminal behaviour. The program is based on the idea that a police presence in the school communities will build positive relationships between the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), youth, and other community members, and issues will be prevented or dealt with at an early stage.
The SRO divides his/her time between three schools spanning two school districts, spending two days per week at the K-12 schools in Trochu and Delburne, and one day per week in the Elnora school (K-8). The SRO’s function is to ensure a ‘safe and caring place of learning’ by balancing prevention, intervention, and enforcement – a proactive role. The officer is involved in a variety of activities including: making themselves available to students experiencing difficulties, offering presentations, enforcing laws and organizing events.
The main goals of the Shared Community School Resource Officer program are to:
- Build positive relationships between the RCMP, youth, and other community members;
- Diminish the number of calls to police;
- Support with personal and family issues;
- Reduce dangerous driving;
- Increase safety for children;
- Reduce bullying; and
- Decrease property damage.
The clientele of the Shared Community School Resource Officer is students from three schools in three municipalities (reaching over 800 students).
The Shared Community School Resource Office divides his/her time between three schools, spending two days per week at the K-12 schools in Trochu and Delburne, and one day per week in the Elnora school (K–8).
The officer’s activities include:
- Making presentations on topics such as safe driving, bullying, substance abuse, the Youth Criminal Justice Act, Halloween safety, farm safety, and ‘sexting’;
- ‘Hanging around’ in the schools to develop relationships with students;
- Acting as a sounding board and working with other school personnel to provide assistance and support for students experiencing personal or family difficulties;
- Establishing and supporting a chapter of Students Against Drinking and Driving;
- Organizing community-building events such as a bicycle rodeo and teachers vs students hockey games;
- Enforcing laws; and
- Lockdown practice.
Some of the critical elements for the implementation of this program or initiative include the following:
- Organizational requirements: The SRO position was managed and run by three neighboring towns through the RCMP. As a result, this collective capacity provided the appropriate supportive structure for the project to flourish.
- Partnerships: This project was a partnership between the Town of Trochu and the RCMP.
- Training and technical assistance: Limited information on this topic.
- Risk assessment tools: Limited information on this topic.
- Materials & resources: Limited information on this topic.
The most recognized classification systems of evidence-based crime prevention programs have classified this program or initiative as follows:
- Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development: Not applicable.
- Crime Solutions/OJJDP Model Program Guide: Not applicable.
- SAMHSA's National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices: Not applicable.
- Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy: Not applicable.
Gathering Canadian Knowledge
Canadian Implementation Sites
From May to June 2009, Delburne, Trochu and Elnora, three rural communities in Central Alberta, came together to sponsor the School Resource Officer (SRO) project. This project involved three schools, three municipalities, two counties, two school districts, one RCMP officer and over 800 students.
Main Findings from Canadian Outcome Evaluation Studies
No information available.
A social return on investment (SROI) has been conducted on the Shared Community School Resource Officer program. The findings from this study have shown the following:
- The SROI ratio demonstrates a three-year breakdown of the amount saved per stakeholder for every dollar invested in the project. The School Community Resource Officer program created a cost savings of $1.19 per every dollar invested;
- This estimation is derived from the saved cost in the reduction of: dangerous driving, bullying, property crime, personal and family issues, and calls to RCMP; and
- The analysis was very conservative since it is difficult to estimate how many traffic accidents or bullying incidents were prevented. The prevention of just one fatal traffic accident would dramatically increase the ratio, for example. And, of course, there are benefits to which a dollar value could not be attached, such as the long term benefits of a positive relationship with police that elementary school students will carry into their teen and adult years.
Alberta Community Crime Prevention Organizations. (2015). Social Return on Investment (SROI) Case Study: Shared Community School Resource Officer. Recipient of Safe Communities Innovation Fund, Government of Alberta. Available from: https://open.alberta.ca/publications/safe-communities-innovation-fund-pilot-project-executive-summaries
For more information on this program, contact:
Town of Trochu
Record Updated On - 2021-04-29
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