HIGH SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICER PROGRAM
1. Briefly describe the structure of your program.
The City of Fullerton Police Department has been in partnership with the Fullerton Joint Union High School District, its four high school campuses and the Fullerton School District, with 15 elementary schools and three junior high schools over the past six years. We have two D.A.R.E. officers serving the 15 elementary schools and four High School Resource Officers serving our four high schools and three junior high schools.
Our High School Resource Officers have an office on each of the high school campuses and are considered an important part of the high school staff. The officers have law enforcement and investigative responsibilities for crimes occurring on their respective campuses. They report to the Community Services Sergeant, however they must also develop and maintain relationships with school administrators, teachers, and students in order to establish trust and effectively facilitate appropriate interventions.
2. When was the program created and why?
In 1990 the Fullerton Police Department implemented a pilot community policing program called "Operation Clean Up." By 1992 our program evolved with one component offering a High School Resource Officer to work with all four high school campuses. Our efforts were limited due to severe budget constraints and an increase in overall gang activity in Fullerton.
Although our resources were limited, we continued our commitment to keep an officer available to the High Schools. In spite of this effort, we recognized an increase of gang activity on the campuses, resulting in several major incidents. Our need to monitor gang activity and to investigate gang related crimes continued to strain available resources.
With the understanding that the essence of community policing is corroboration, we participated in a coalition including the Orange County Department of Education, our two school districts, probation, the District Attorney, and Orange County Human Relations Commission. The purpose of this was to apply for a State of California Grant to combat gang violence in our community.
We were successful in obtaining funding under our grant titled Community Unified For Fullerton Safety or "CUFFS."
3. How do you measure the programís effectiveness?
The CUFFS grant proved very effective, evidenced by the grant being funded for the last six years. The grant contains specific requirements to measure our success, including tracking the following:
All contacts of local gang members by our own officers.
What is invaluable yet difficult to quantify, is the relationship and cooperation we have developed with the CUFFS participants over the past six years.
4. How is the program financed?
The original grant was renewed for a second three year period so we have been funded by the state grant for the past six years. Over these years, there has been a matching fund component involved in the grant which has been paid out of Asset Forfeiture Funds. In July of 1998 we were funded for another three years under a similar grant which expands our service area into the adjoining City of Buena Park.
5. How is the community involved in the program, if at all? How has the community responded to the program?
Community involvement is the essence of community policing and provides the foundation for our High School Resource Programs. Our High School Resource Officers and D.A.R.E. Officers have established lasting relationships with representatives from the Boys and Girls Club of Fullerton, Shortstop intervention program, Orange Korean Church, Fullerton Museum and Orange County Human Relations Commission, as well as the educational components. This includes personal relationships with our school district administrators, principals, teachers, and students. We have developed trust and communication channels that we would not have enjoyed without this program.
Our networking has also reached the business community by involving the chamber of commerce and three rotary clubs which provide mentoring and job shadowing programs.
Our program has been so successful that our City Manager and Chief of Police committed general fund dollars to continue the High School Resource program when our grant funding ended, prior to the new funding being approved.
6. Contact person:
The United States Conference of Mayors
J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
Copyright © 1999, US Conference of Mayors, All rights reserved.