This study was commissioned by the Juvenile Justice Advisory Group (JJAG) to learn more about how SROs are deployed in Maine, and to understand if they are creating a culture of safety in Maine schools. This study collects existing national research on SROs, including deployment, effectiveness, impacts, and points of concern. A mixed method research design provides an overview of the program’s scope and various modes of deployment in Maine’s public schools.
This study is the first time Maine has taken collective stock of how schools are deploying law enforcement, and its findings are consistent with assessments of SRO programs nationally. Several key findings detailed in this report include:
- Policy: There is wide variation in how Maine’s SRO programs are structured and supported in policy, and as a result, schools are deploying SROs in a variety of ways.
- Role: SROs are visibly present and perceived as available by students, which leads students to use them as counselors or confidantes.
- Training: There are no statewide training requirements for SROs, and local training requirements or provisions for SROs vary widely.
- Data and Evaluation: Data being collected on SRO activities are highly discretionary within and across sites, and insufficient for meaningful evaluation or oversight.
- Oversight: There is minimal local oversight and no statewide oversight for SRO programs in Maine.