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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