Two new federal reports offer a snapshot of many local police practices, including those of school resource officers, but it will take new surveys to determine any long-term impact of the anti-police demonstrations after the 2020 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The reports were discussed Wednesday by staff members of the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics at the annual meeting of the American Society of Criminology, held this year in Philadelphia. One report suggested a possible decline in community policing, finding that only 32% of police departments had written community policing plans in 2020, down from 42% in 2016. About one-third of U.S. police officers work in departments that require investigations by an external agency for use of force resulting in death. The survey also found that about 29% of local police departments authorized "respiratory neck restraints" only under limited circumstances. About 62% of local police departments deployed body-worn cameras in 2020. Some 93% of police departments required annual in-service training for full-time officers in 2020, with an average requirement of 46 hours.
A separate report on school resource officers (SROs) found that 23,400 of them were employed around the U.S. in the 2019-2020 school year. About 69% of the officers had responded to an incident in a classroom within the past 30 days. About 54% of SROs had arrested a student for drug possession within the past year. Almost all school officers usually carried a firearm and had received training on the use of deadly force, the use of less-lethal force and de-escalation strategies. Since BJS collected the data, some school districts have discontinued the use of SROs and others have reinstituted them after violent incidents. BJS will conduct a new version of the general policing survey next year