School Crime Operations Package (School COP Software) (ICPSR 23543)

Principal Investigator(s): View help for Principal Investigator(s)
Tom Rich, Abt Associates; Peter Finn, Abt Associates

This is an external resource to which ICPSR links as a courtesy. These data are not available from ICPSR. Users should consult the data owners (via School Crime Operations Package (School COP Software)) directly for details on obtaining these resources.

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 School COP.

Rich, Tom, and Finn, Peter. School Crime Operations Package (School COP Software). Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2008-10-09.

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United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (2001-IJ-CX-0026), United States Department of Justice. Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (2000-SH-WX-K001), United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (1999-LT-VX-K017)

This resource is not available from ICPSR. Users are encouraged to visit the School COP Web site at the link listed above to get a copy of the School COP software program, as well as software updates, news, support tips, and other information about School COP.

Users are encouraged to refer to the two reports that were produced under the NIJ grant and are cited in the "Related Literature" section of this study. The "School COP Evaluation Final Report" is an overall summary of the project geared toward NIJ, other federal policymakers, and researchers. The report provided background on school safety issues, and highlights the study's methodology, evaluation findings, and policy implications for NIJ. The "School COP: Implementation and Benefits in Six Sites" case study report is intended primarily for school administrators, police officers assigned to schools, school district security staff, and others charged with maintaining safe schools. This report contains detailed information on how School COP was implemented and used in six sites.