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The Role of Law Enforcement Officers in Drug Use Prevention within School Settings

UNODC, a Guiding Document

This guiding document primarily aims to improve the effectiveness of pre-existing and ongoing work of Law Enforcement Officers (LEO) involved in substance use prevention in schools. Its intentions are to incite LEO to re-assess their mode of operation and align their work with what the science of prevention suggests doing in such settings. It does not advocate for actual initiation of LEO in schoolbased prevention if they have not been already engaged or are planning to do so. Furthermore, this guiding document does not prescribe any specific process on how to deal with different scenarios in schools or advocate for any specific intervention to undertake by LEO in such school-based drug prevention. It rather provides an overview of the strategic thinking process that needs to be considered by frontline LEO (or their management) whenever implicated in such activities. By doing so, this guiding document inspires LEO to re-invent their role and open new opportunities for them in prevention. It also strives to better integrate LEO in the larger systems of prevention, bringing them closer to other prevention agents, and to optimize the effectiveness of this prevention system by capitalizing on the strength and weaknesses of each of its agents.


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