SAN DIEGO–Individuals who have been contacted by San Diego police officers will soon be able to rate the service provided by the police department. This 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 San Diego Police Department will be offering many of the individuals with whom they come into contact an opportunity to participate in a survey designed to collect information that could help improve police procedures and services in not only the San Diego Police Department, but also in the state and nationwide.
The goal of the PCI, administered through UIC’s Center for Research in Law and Justice, is to collect data that will help establish new benchmarks for excellence in policing and thus help to improve the quality of police services delivered to the community. During the summer of 2013, San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne was asked if the Department would be willing to participate in this study and he accepted the opportunity. The Department is one of approximately 100 agencies to be part of this innovative national program. Based on a pilot program that is part of the National Police Research Platform administered by UIC researchers, participating agencies will be able to use the survey data to monitor their performance and improve their training programs.
Participating in the survey will be simple. As police reports are filed, a letter will be sent to community members asking them to take a survey. The survey is available in Spanish and English and can be taken either online or by telephone. The online survey can be accessed through a computer or by scanning a QR code with a smart phone or tablet device. The letters will include a special code needed to participate in the survey to ensure that only one survey is completed for each police contact.
According to Chief Lansdowne, no one asked to participate in the survey should be concerned that the information could be used in other ways. None of the survey information will be collected by the San Diego Police Department since all survey responses will be managed by the UIC researchers. The results provided to the agency will not include any information identifying the individual responding to the survey or the officer involved in the contact, as this information is never provided to UIC researchers.
Police contacts that involve traffic accidents and stops, as well as most non-violent crimes, will be part of survey. However, contacts that result from domestic violence or sexual assault or involve juveniles will not be surveyed. 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 first round of letters, a little less than 1300 were mailed out on February 27.