Right on the heels of the recent sexual misconduct scandals involving San Diego police officers, the San Diego Police Department is now asking citizens to provide feedback on their encounters with police.
According to the SDPD, individuals who have been contacted by SDPD officers can now rate the service provided by the department.
The data will be part of the National Police Research Platform’s Police Community Interaction (PCI) Survey administered by the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC).
The SDPD said participating in the survey will be simple. As police reports are filed, a letter will be sent to citizens contacted by police asking them to take a survey.
Those contacted by police include citizens involved in traffic accidents and stops, as well as most non-violent crimes. Contacts from domestic violence or sexual assault, as well as juveniles, will not be surveyed.
The department said the first round of those survey letters – nearly 1,300 of them – were mailed out Thursday.
The survey is available in both English and Spanish and can be taken by telephone or online via a desktop computer or by scanning a QR code with a smartphone or table device. The letters will each include a special code needed to participate to ensure that only one survey is completed for each police contact, the SDPD said.
The survey is designed to gather information that could help improve police procedures and services in the SDPD, as well as state and nationwide. The data could eventually be used by departments to also improve their training programs.
The SDPD said it hopes to receive as much feedback as possible back from the survey.
“We sincerely hope that anyone who has had an interaction with one of our officers and receives the letter will take the survey and provide honest feedback,” the SDPD said in a statement Friday.
The SDPD said Chief William Lansdowne agreed that the department would participate in this study when he was asked in summer 2013. The SDPD is one of approximately 100 agencies partaking in this survey program.
All information collected in this survey will be managed by UIC researchers. The results given to the SDPD will not include any information identifying the individual responding to the survey or the officer involved in the contact, as those details are not given to the researchers either.
Now, this survey is different and separate from the outside audit and review of the SDPD that Lansdowne, Mayor-Elect Kevin Faulconer and San Diego City Attorney Jan Goldsmith recently called for in light of sexual misconduct cases involving two SDPD officers.
Earlier this week, Goldsmith released some brief details on that review into the department.
Mayor-Elect Kevin Faulconer – who will be sworn in as mayor on Monday, too – announced earlier this week that he has selected SDPD Asst. Chief Shelley Zimmerman to take on the role of chief.
In a press conference Wednesday, Zimmerman said she will not stand for any officer that dishonors the department.
“As a proud member of our department for 31 years I can tell you without question that 99.9 percent of our officers serve every single day with honor, distinction and professionalism, and for those few that make the absolute terrible decision to discredit this badge and dishonor our profession, I will not tolerate this,” said Zimmerman.