In the debate before the Minneapolis School Board about whether School Resource Officers should continue to be deployed in the city schools, the head of the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office Juvenile Prosecution Division made a presentation in favor of keeping the officers.
As part of that presentation, Senior Managing Attorney Tom Arneson provided statistics that showed how the numbers have changed since the 2006/2007 school year in both Minneapolis schools and suburban Hennepin County schools.
The number of students referred to the county attorney’s office for possible criminal charges, and therefore a potential mark on their record, has dropped dramatically. In the 2007/2008 school year, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office implemented policy changes aimed at decreasing unnecessary referrals for minor misbehavior to the juvenile justice system. The county attorney’s office credits the presence of school resource officers as a significant factor in the continued steady decline in school crime referrals in the last 10 years. These school resource officers receive specialized training and have been focusing on developing positive relationships with students, problem solving, and keeping our schools safe.
Attached are the slides presented at the Minneapolis School Board meeting as well as the data on school crime referrals occurring at Hennepin County schools since the 2001/2002 school year.