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University of Nebraska Public Policy Center

Comprehensive School Safety Initiative

The University of Nebraska Public Policy Center collaborated with the Nebraska Department of Education to conduct a research study that examines how safety perceptions and organization of school safety and security are associated with level and type of law enforcement engagement in rural schools.

While rural schools engage with law enforcement, they utilize a variety of approaches depending on their funding and geographic constraints. The mixed methods research of this project aims to address: 1) how law enforcement is engaged in rural schools, 2) stakeholder perceptions of safety and security, and 3) how safety and security preparedness is associated with law enforcement engagement in rural schools.

Safety and security data is being collected and obtained from over 150 rural schools in addition to an online survey from rural school personnel and law enforcement representatives about perceptions and protocols guiding their relationship. Existing data used in this study include crime statistics, school incidents, census information, school quality data and survey data.

The research will result in a description of effective strategies to engage law enforcement with rural schools to improve safety.

Key Partners


Lead Contact

Staff Researchers