Dear Colleague Letters on the Appropriate Use of School Resource Officers and Campus Police

The U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services released new tools for schools and colleges to ensure appropriate use of school resource officers (SROs) and campus police. The tools focus on ways in which SROs and campus police can positively contribute to improved school climates, safety, and support of student achievement in our nations schools. 

The tools include a total of 4 letters, two from each Department, to assist states, schools, and their law enforcement partners in assessing the proper role of SROs and campus law enforcement professionals, emphasizing the importance of well-designed SRO programs and calling on leaders of institutions of higher education to commit to implementing recommendations from the President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing in the campus policing context.

The release also contained two rubrics, one for state and local policy and one for local implementation to help state and local schools and agencies review and revise their SRO-related policies to be in alignment with common-sense action steps that can lead to improved school safety and better outcomes for students while safeguarding their civil rights.

These materials build on the Obama Administration's work with states and districts to improve discipline practices and climate in the nation's schools. The Departments have worked collaboratively to recognize states and districts leading the way on these issues as well as to provide states and districts with effective alternatives to exclusionary discipline practices and continue to call upon a broad array of stakeholders to rethink approaches to school discipline in order to keep kids in school and out of the justice system. More information about these materials and additional resources may be found at