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Clinkinbeard -

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Justice Quarterly





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Prior research indicates school resource officers (SROs) perform an array of nontraditional police tasks and work in settings culturally distinct from street patrols. To thrive in SRO programs, police must adapt to these new roles and settings, likely affecting how they view themselves and their work. The present study examined how SROs view and respond to their work in schools through interviews and observations of 20 participants in four states. Findings revealed participants adopted policing strategies that facilitated communication and rapport. They generally viewed citizens positively and felt being an SRO made their work meaningful. Participants further described identities at odds with authoritarian stereotypes. Findings lend support to the notion that attitudes and self-concept are dynamic and suggest positive changes in attitudes and identity are related to the ways officers approach their work. Such changes show promise for realizing the community policing goals of many SRO programs.


This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Justice Quarterly on December 28, 2018, available online:

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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