TBI Reports Crime on School Campuses Has Dropped

Chattanooga, TN (WDEF) – Good news for Tennessee schools.

Monday the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation released the results and statistics of a three year study on school crime over the past three years.

And studies show, the numbers are down.

The study is called School Crime 2012-2014.

"The initial crimes that are being reported is actually down over the last two to three years and we can attribute that to a lot of different things," said Lieutenant Shaun Shepherd with the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department. "Number one is education."

Hamilton County has 24 public schools that are staffed with school resources officers who are first and foremost law enforcement officers.

But their approach to law enforcement in the school setting is more educational and mentor-oriented.

Officials attribute these methods to their success in lowering crime numbers.

"Our school resource officers work a lot of times in the classroom trying to educate the kids and let them understand that violence is not always the choice that you might want to take in dealing with conflict," said Shepherd. "So we try to use peer mediation a lot of times. And conflict resolution."

School resources officers can serve as coaches and advisors too.

"They get to know these officers on a personal level as they help volunteer coach or they’ll help do different things and you’ll see them in a different light not just as an officer who may be there to arrest them but also to see them as someone they can go to when they have problems," said Shepherd.

The TBI study says the number of offenses in Tennessee schools dropped 14% in the past three years.

Assault was the most frequent offense and 52.9 percent of the crimes were against females.

Crime reports at Chattanooga State and UTC were also down with the majority of arrests being for underage drinking, drug use and theft.

Categories: Local News

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