The School Crime Operations Package (School COP) is a software
application developed by Abt Associates Inc. with funding from the National
Institute of Justice. School COP is a free software package that persons
responsible for school safety can use to enter, analyze, and map criminal
incidents and school rule violations that occur in and around K-12 schools.
School COP organizes information according to the data model that the United
States Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics'
Crime, Violence, and Discipline Reporting Task Force recommends. The School COP
database includes data related to the incident (e.g., date, time, type,
location) and to persons involved in the incident (e.g., name, grade, action
taken). In other words, School COP is an incident-based system, rather than a
student-based system. School COP offers a variety of techniques for analyzing
school incidents, including tabular reports, bar graphs, pie charts, and maps.
School COP can be installed on any Windows (95 or later) PC. It requires no
other software to run, and is usable without formal training.
The origin of this project is an award to Abt Associates Inc. that was
funded under the National Institute of Justice's (NIJ) June 1999 "Safe Schools
Technology" solicitation, which requested proposals for innovative approaches
to using technology to enhance the safety of our nation's elementary and
secondary schools. School COP was initially released on CD-ROM in January 2001,
and made available at the School COP Web site in June 2001. This Windows
version of School COP was generally designed for individuals, for a single
school, or for small offices within a school district. Abt Associates Inc. was
subsequently awarded another grant in 2001 to enhance the School Crime
Operations Package (School COP) and to conduct an evaluation of this software,
which is used to enter and analyze incidents that occur on school campuses.
Two types of enhancements were made. First, an enhanced Windows version of
School COP was developed that could run on a local- or wide-area network, thus
allowing multiple users within a single school or across multiple schools to
share a common School COP database. The enhanced Windows version also included
two utilities: a Merge application (which enables a district-level School COP
database to be constructed by merging several individual databases) and a
Viewer application (which enables users to view -- but not add, edit, or delete
-- incident information). Second, Web School COP was developed to meet the
diverse information needs of persons charged with maintaining safe schools in
large school districts, including persons at the school-level (e.g.,
principals, assistant principals, security officers, and school resource
officers), the district-level (e.g., district-level administrators and security
staff), as well as possibly parent organizations and state-level
administrators. Web School COP was designed to run on either an Intranet (e.g.,
the school district's private Internet) or a secure third-party Web server, and
was built to run on the current Microsoft Web platform.
The evaluation of School COP entailed case studies of six sites to address
three main issues: (1) what decision process do sites go through when deciding
whether to use School COP, (2) once the site decides to use School COP, what
implementation obstacles exist, including those related to installation,
customization, and training, and (3) what benefits do sites realize from using