The Role and Impact of School Resource Officers in Connecticut: A Report Completed for the General Assembly Judiciary Committee
Bernhardt, Amery E.
Lomas, Gabriel I.
Gill Lopez, P.
school resource officers
This report fulfills Section 3 of Public Act 22-114, which was passed by the Connecticut General Assembly and signed by the Governor of Connecticut in May of 2022. As per Section 3 of PA 22-114, a public institution of higher education will study the role and impact that school resource officers (SROs) have on students with disabilities in CT, and report back to the Connecticut General Assembly Judiciary Committee by December 1, 2022. The Connecticut Center for School Safety and Crisis Preparation, located at Western Connecticut State University (WCSU), was selected in June of 2022 by the Board of Regents for Higher Education, and charged with answering the following questions: (1) Determine how many school resource officers are employed in this state and the number of such officers in each school district; (2) Detail the funding mechanisms each district uses to employ school resource officers; (3) Develop metrics for assessing the efficacy of school resource officers, particularly in the context of interactions with students with disabilities; (4) Determine the chain of command structure when students with disabilities experience crises in school, including who responds and when; (5) Determine what the process is for entering into memoranda of understanding between school districts, boards of education and school resource officers, and public accessibility to such process. (6) Explore other issues that the public institution of higher education conducting the study deems relevant to such study.
The foundation for conducting this study came from recommendations of the Police Transparency & Accountability Task Force which released its final report in January 2022. One potential benefit of this research is that it can help improve police interactions with the disability community. The WCSU Institutional Review Board (IRB) granted approval to conduct this research in September of 2022 under protocol number 2223-04. The results from this research are presented in five (5) sections. These sections include an introduction, methods, results, discussion/conclusions, and suggestions for future research.