Davenport Police Ask You to Rate Service - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Davenport Police Ask You to Rate Service

Posted: Updated: March 6, 2014 09:30 PM

Their job is to protect and serve, and now Davenport police are trying to find out just how their service rates.

The department is sending out surveys to residents who have had recent interactions with officers. But the Assistant Police Chief says just a small percentage are coming back and he's hoping for a better response. Residents who have been issued a traffic citation or warning, been in a traffic accident, or the victim of a non-violent crime should be getting letters in the mail directing them to the survey. It's anonymous. Major Don Schaeffer says it will take five or ten minutes of your time, but will have a lasting impact on the entire community.

Most people will tell you their interactions with police officers happen when they're already having a bad day. Stephanie Byrd says that happened to her. "It was a critical time in our household and we needed some help." She says she called for that, and her experience was not good. "I felt so helpless at that point, that no, I didn't get his badge number. Lucky for him, because once the situation calmed down, I wished I had."

It's why she says this survey is such a good idea, and why Maj. Schaeffer says he wants to see residents fill them out. "So we want to look at our performance and what the people's perception is. On top of that, that builds trust within the community. That's what is most important to us. We need that trust."

He says that's what's made the NETS program so successful, and transformed neighborhoods that are part of it. "We can't be everywhere, so we need to depend on those eyes and ears and so forth." And Schaeffer says, "If they have that trust in the community, they know we'll handle it correctly." If there are problems, the Major says he wants to know about those too. "If the public perception is wrong in any area, or we need to address, we're gonna address it. But he says the department needs to know about it first.

Byrd says she's willing to share. "I've had more good experiences with them than bad." And other residents we talked to are on board as well. Alyssa Langevin tells us, "I think it will be beneficial if people are honest about it." "Everybody like comments on how they do," Samantha Phillips says. "You know, feedback."

Schaeffer says he wants to see whatever the surveys show; good, bad or ugly. "I have no idea where this is gonna lead us. All we want to do is participate and get that information, and then obviously make ourselves better."

The study is being administered by the University of Illinois. Major Schaeffer says the closest participating cities are Skokie and Oak Park. East Moline's Police Chief says his department has participated in similar surveys, most recently about four years ago.


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