I received a copy of the local survey intended to get community opinion on local policing, as part of the state’s requirement to evaluate current processes. Understanding community issues and needs is a very important step, which is why I was dismayed at the lack of depth and clarity of this survey.
It did not assess a respondent’s current familiarity with local procedures, nor allow for any responses beyond what could be a completely uninformed yes or no. Complex issues, like how police should spend their time, were similarly reduced to yes/no questions.
If there is a genuine desire to understand what the community thinks, what its current experiences have been or have not been, this is a woefully inadequate way to do so. Such an important effort demands more thought and survey expertise to feel there’s credibility in the resulting data and valuable information on which to base critical decisions down the road.
I hope the committee will consider additional ways to get at these critical and complex issues. Overly simplifying the issue will not prove helpful in the long run.
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