Lexington Police Department, MA
The Lexington Massachusetts Police Department created a community survey to solicit feedback from residents about crime, quality of life issues and opinions about the department's effectiveness. Chief Christopher Casey used the survey “as a quality assurance tool to measure how the police department was meeting the public safety needs of the residents.”
Community surveys were conducted in 1993 and 1999. The first survey was managed in-house using an intern to enter respondent answers into a software program that tabulated the results. The department partnered with a nearby university for the second survey and a graduate student was responsible for managing the project. A residential mailing list was randomly developed. The respondents were instructed to remove their original address label to ensure anonymity when they returned the survey. The department prepaid return postage. Three thousand surveys were sent with a 27% response rate.
Survey results were extremely positive and helped reinforce the resident's appreciation for the work the department performs. The survey also helped focus future policy, budget and program discussions around priorities that the community indicated were of concern. Some of these topics were domestic violence, aggressive driving and drugs. The survey also sent a positive message to the community, that the agency is interested in the perspectives of its the citizens.
If you are interested in posting your surveys on the IACP Website, please contact Elaine Deck.