Student support for school cops on rise: Police chief

Bill Blair says that was the feedback from a survey of administrators,students and parents at locations with and without what are calledschool resource officers.

Toronto’s police chief says students are warming to the idea of having officers in the hallways.

Bill Blair says that was the feedback from a survey of administrators, students and parents at locations with and without what are called school resource officers.

Blair says 67 per cent of students reported a “good or excellent” relationship with police in their schools, up from 56 per cent when the program started about one and a half years ago.

There are about 50 schools with resource officers, up from 29 last year.

The program was introduced after 15-year-old Jordan Manners was gunned down in a school hallway in May 2007.

While the survey indicates growing support for the program, students at Northern Secondary School protested last month against having police in their school, after a 16-year-old student was charged with assaulting police during an arrest.

Blair calls the program a work in progress.

“You’ve got to build those relationships … that eventually will create an environment where people will … go to their police officer if they need a little bit of help.

“And the police officers as well are learning a lot about young people, how they can communicate … the things that they’re concerned about, and that only helps us do a better job in policing.”

 
 
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