The Community Outreach through Police in Schools Program is a short-term, prevention-oriented, school-based group intervention that brings together community police officers and child clinicians as group coleaders to provide weekly sessions for middle school students who are at risk of being exposed to violence in the community. The Community Outreach through Police in Schools Program comprises eight 50-minute weekly sessions as well as pretest and posttest survey sessions. The total length of the intervention is 10 weeks.
Most experts agree that any successful violence intervention program must be collaborative. Such programs should also target youth early, before frequent exposure to violence leads them to adopt negative and dysfunctional patterns of behavior. The Community Outreach through Police in Schools Program is a collaborative intervention that targets youth before exposure to violence in their community seriously impacts their functioning. The interventions collaborative approach commits school, police, and mental health resources within the community to provide services for children in middle school, a time when many negative behavior patterns develop and are first identified. The program has been successful because of its unique design that calls on police and mental health experts to work together to meet the needs of children in their community. Children get to know their community police officers better, develop an understanding of the impact of violence and trauma, and learn adaptive means of dealing with the consequences of exposure to violence and trauma.