Referrals to the Philadelphia Police Department

Philadelphia Police Department Referrals


Some of the behavior infractions in the code of conduct are also considered crimes according to Pennsylvania state law. The School District of Philadelphia has a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Philadelphia Police Department (PPD) that explicitly states which crimes must be reported to PPD. The crimes that must be reported to the Philadelphia Police Department are as follows:

·       Abductions and Attempts

·       Assaults

·       Bomb Scares

·       Burglary

·       Drug & Alcohol Offenses

·       Fire & False Alarms (Arson)

·       Graffiti (if racial or threatening in nature)

·       Child Abuse

·       Hate Crimes

·       Morals Offenses (sexual in nature)

·       Property Damage

·       Robbery

·       Theft

·       Trespassing

·       Weapons Offenses


A complete copy of the memorandum of understanding is available on the School District of Philadelphia’s website ( Students eleven (11) years old and younger will not be subject to arrest unless they have committed one of the enumerated crimes listed in the memorandum of understanding. Parents or guardians of victims and suspects should be contacted immediately about their child’s involvement and attempts to contact parents should be documented.


The School District of Philadelphia also has a memorandum of understanding regarding the Diversion Program with the Philadelphia Police department. This program permits PPD to offer alternatives to arrest and criminal prosecution, such as social service supports. The Diversion Program allows the Philadelphia Police Department to divert a student from arrest if that student has committed a non-violent offense in school and has no prior arrests. In those cases, the student will receive services from the Department of Human Services.


School Reporting Process:

In schools with a School Safety Officer (SSO), when there is an incident which may be a crime,  the administrator should notify the SSO prior to making any police referral for the potential arrest of a student. All School Safety personnel have received training on the Philadelphia Police School Diversion Program. The SSO will contact the PPD Diversion Program at 215-400-5526 / 215-400-5530 to determine if the offense is eligible. Offenses not eligible for diversion will be referred to the Philadelphia Police Department. Those schools without a safety officer are directed to contact the PPD and their School Safety Area Manager.