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977.1 Guideline: Cooperation with Law Enforcement Agencies

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977.1 Guideline: Cooperation with Law Enforcement Agencies

Continue to Guideline 977.2: Community Notifications of Predatory Offender

These administrative guidelines are intended to facilitate ongoing cooperation between school officials and law enforcement agencies. Cooperation between the school and police department on matters involving students shall be based on communication and coordination between the office of the building administrator and the designated police officer assigned to partner with schools. If an on-duty police officer wishes to come to the school for official business, the officer must first contact the school administration.

I. Procedure for investigations, arrests and release of students to police for non-school related conduct.

The principal or designee will make the final determination as to whether law enforcement authorities should be allowed to conduct an interview with a student at school.  Prior to making this decision, the principal or designee will consult with the superintendent, assistant superintendent, or chief human resources and administrative officer. Some of the factors the principal may consider are:

A. Has the officer tried to interview the student outside of school, if practical?  Why or why not?  (e.g. the officer works the day shift)

B. Has the officer tried to notify the parents/guardian?  Why or why not?

C. How serious is the offense being investigated?

D. Is there an urgency to the investigation that would necessitate interviewing the student at school (e.g. the officer has been unable to make contact with the student outside of school, the offense may have an impact on the school environment or other students, etc.)?

Note: This is a non-exclusive list and the principals should use their professional judgment when considering other factors.

Principals and police officers are encouraged to contact the District Office whenever they have a question or a disagreement regarding police access to students.

Throughout this process, all attempts should be made to avoid embarrassing the student before teachers and peers and to avoid disrupting the educational program of the student by making the student miss class time.  Law enforcement personnel should remain in the administration office while school personnel seek out the student. If the arrival of law enforcement personnel was widely noticed by students, attempts should be made to delay seeking out the student being interviewed or arrested for a reasonable amount of time, so that it is not obvious to other students why the student is being pulled from their schedule.

Before removing a student from the school in a non-school related incident, police officers shall leave documentation for the removal that will be kept on file with the school office.

The principal should attempt to notify the parents/guardian immediately and document the contact.

The following procedures must be followed once a decision has been made to allow a police officer to interview a student in school or take a student into custody:

II. Arrest

A. When licensed police officers have a warrant for or probable cause to arrest a student, they must be permitted to arrest the student.  However, whenever possible the arrest should be conducted in an office out of the view of the other students.  When removing a student from the school in a non-school related incident, police officers will assume full responsibility for the student.  The schools should contact the police department for verification of an officer's name and status before releasing a student whenever an officer is outside their jurisdiction or unknown to the school.

B. Agents of the federal government, postal inspectors, treasury agents and agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation also have the power to arrest.  Normally, their contacts with the school will be for the purpose of investigation, and they usually cooperate with the local police in making arrests.  However, on occasion this authority may be exercised directly; and when they feel it necessary to take a student into their custody, they shall assume full responsibility for the student.

III. Interview

The following procedures apply to students who are under the age of eighteen.  Students eighteen years of age or older may agree to talk to police officers without prior parental notification or school administration being present during the interview.

A. Prior to the interview, a reasonable attempt shall be made to notify the parent/guardian (except in cases of suspected child physical or sexual abuse or child neglect pursuant to the Reporting of Maltreatment of Minors Act, Minnesota Statutes Chapter 260E). Reasonable attempt to notify shall include phone and email. The purpose of notification is to inform the parent/guardian that an interview is going to take place at school.

B. The principal or designee will notify the officer(s) of the parent/guardian’s response, if the principal or designee has been able to communicate with the parent/guardian.

C. In the presence of the student and the officer, the principal or designee will notify the student and the officer of the parent/guardian’s response. The principal or designee will also notify the student that they do not have to speak with the officer if they do not wish to do so. At this time the principal or designee will consult with the superintendent, assistant superintendent, or chief human resources and administrative officer prior to any interview occurring.

D. If a parent/guardian requests to be present during the interview this request should be accommodated unless the seriousness of the offense or urgency of the investigation requires immediate interviewing by the police.

E. If the officer(s) are not able to comply with the parent/guardian’s response, the administrator will notify the parent/guardian that the interview is occurring against the parent/guardian’s desires.

F. If the parent/guardian cannot be reached prior to the interview, the school should send written notification and attempt to leave a voicemail message informing the parent/guardian that an interview has taken place.

G. The student being interviewed may request whether or not to have a school administrator present for the interview. If an administrator is present during the interview, they should not take part in the questioning.  Administrators shall at all times remain neutral observers.

H. All interviews should be conducted in a private room or area where confidentiality can be maintained.  This should be an area removed from observation by or contact with other people and school personnel.


Legal References: 

Minn. Stat. § 126C.44 (Crime Related Costs Levy)

Minn. Stat. Ch. 260E (Reporting of Maltreatment of Minors) 


Dated: November 18, 1996

Reviewed: July 19, 2004

Revised: November 19, 2001; May 7, 2018; March 4, 2024