In 2016, the Racine Police Department and Racine Unified School District joined forces in forming a partnership to develop strategies and techniques for making our schools safer, building relationships with students, and finding solutions to problems which adversely affected the learning environment and criminalized some childhood behaviors. Through this partnership, the School Safety and Security Unit of the Racine Police Department was created.
The School Safety and Security Unit’s goal is to take the Community Oriented Policing Model, which has been highly successful in Racine, and implementing it in the school environment. Through this model, the Racine Police Department aims to reduce calls for police services at area schools, find appropriate solutions when possible to problems and incidents other than criminal sanctions, and build positive relationships with students through mentoring, coaching, and positive interaction outside of law enforcement contacts.
The School Safety and Security Unit consists of two School COP Officers assigned to William Horlick and Washington Park High Schools, working together with a team of officers working inside all middle and high schools as school security officers. Through this model, all RUSD students from 6th grade through graduation have the opportunity to interact in a positive manner with police officers and build strong relationships to last a lifetime, while also working with these officers to get their education and build their successful future.
Through the efforts of the School Safety and Security Unit, to date, calls for police services have decreased in the schools by 25%, and arrests/citations of students has decreased 43%. In addition, students have built relationships with officers which have made for a safer school environment.
For more information on the School Safety and Security Unit, please contact Lt. Walter Powell at 262-635-7805 or Walter.Powell@cityofracine.org