(a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) Studies have shown that indicators of risk for violence are associated with a child’s experiences at school. Antisocial behavior or aggressiveness, which is sometimes combined with isolation, withdrawal, hyperactivity, or attention deficit disorder, places children at increased risk of violence.
(2) These children are at risk of persistent antisocial behavior, such as skipping school, getting into fights, and misbehaving in class. Young people of both genders who engage in these activities are at increased risk of experiencing drug abuse, juvenile delinquency, violence, dropping out of school, and teen pregnancy.
(3) It is well-known that some youth, even though exposed to multiple risk factors, do not succumb to violent, antisocial behavior. One of the defining factors for this outcome is bonding—positive relationships with family members, teachers, police officers, sheriffs’ deputies, and other adults.
(4) The Community Policing and Mentoring for School Safety Pilot Program brings this successful law enforcement strategy to California’s schools. By providing funding assistance, strict participation guidelines and assessments, the Community Policing and Mentoring for School Safety Pilot Program will bring highly trained law enforcement officers onto school campuses to work with students during and after school. Community policing in schools will provide the necessary opportunities for students’ active involvement in positive activities, as well as trained personnel to teach them skills so that they may pursue later opportunities successfully. Community policing in schools provides a consistent system of recognition and reinforcement of positive behavior.
(5) Many school safety approaches, including metal detectors, drug-sniffing dogs, armed private security personnel, and similar security measures, are more one-dimensional in their approach to school safety. The Community Policing and Mentoring for School Safety Pilot Program takes a multidimensional approach by involving the community, schools, parents or guardians, and law enforcement personnel in the design of the program that will serve their schools. The relationships developed, as a result of this process and the programs themselves, will be a strong preventative alternative to antisocial behavior in California’s schools.
(b) As used in this article, “community policing” means an approach to crime prevention that is founded on developing positive relationships between law enforcement and the community. In community policing, law enforcement becomes an integral facet of the community because officers work directly with the community and develop positive relationships with members of the community. Community members become more involved in their community’s activities because they know they have the personal support of law enforcement. Community policing identifies factors that put young people at risk for violence in order to reduce or eliminate these factors and strengthen protective factors such as positive relationships with adults.