As a Department of Justice audit is set to start, the San Diego Police Department is undergoing another survey. This one involves the University of Illinois at Chicago and you.
So far more than 8,000 people have been sent letters asking them to take a survey.
The SDPD is asking thousands of people to participate in a survey, designed to collect information that could improve the department.
“The people who would be receiving a letter would be someone who may have been involved in a traffic accident, someone who may have been stopped and received a traffic citation, or someone who may have been a victim in a crime,” said Lt. Kevin Mayer.
The department is one of approximately 100 agencies nationwide that’s part of this survey. They’ve partnered up with the National Police Research Platform and the University of Illinois at Chicago.
“Chief Lansdowne was asked back in the summer of 2013 if he’d be willing to participate and he said ‘absolutely, count us in.’ We’re always looking for ways to be better, to do our job more efficiently, and to provide better service,” Mayer said.
The survey has about a dozen questions, addressing all kinds of topics. Some sample questions include – “During you encounter with police, at the start, did the officer greet you by saying hello and stating his/her name?” or “Please rate how good a job the police are doing in your neighborhood.”
Dr. Joshua Chanin, assistant professor of Public Affairs at SDSU says this survey could increase the legitimacy of the department in the eyes of the public.
“Given the problems that pervade the department right now, I think any time that they’re soliciting feedback, that suggests that there’s an important message being sent that they care,” says Chanin.
The survey comes around the same time the Department of Justice launched an independent audit of the SDPD, after allegations of sexual misconduct by uniformed officers. Lt. Mayer says the timing of this is just coincidence.
The cost of the survey to the city is minimal. Results should be made public, hopefully by the end of the year.
If you receive a letter, the survey takes about 10 minutes and the department tells NBC 7 answers are confidential.