Getting feedback from the general public and community members is crucial for law enforcement agencies. Information coming from the community and citizens helps police agencies in decision-making. It is also essential in crafting strategies to gain the trust and cooperation of the community.
Surveys are among the most common ways of gathering vital information in many disciplines. It allows police agencies to collect a large amount of data efficiently. If done correctly, surveys can provide law enforcement institutions the pulse, knowledge, perception, and attitude of individuals from a particular community.
There are various kinds of surveys available for anyone who wants to do research. Face-to-face, mail-in, telephone, and web-based are some of the most common types of surveys. With the advent of many digital platforms, a web-based survey is gaining popularity among researchers and even police agencies.
Surveys and Law Enforcement
Undeniably, having a good relationship between the police and the community is crucial for implementing law enforcement policies. However, there are certain areas where tensions between the police and the community occur. Hence, police agencies are exerting effort to improve their rapport with the community.
A study showed that law enforcement agencies are using police-community surveys to build a close and harmonious relationship. Police agencies also used surveys to assess the effectiveness of their services and determine public concerns. Police-community surveys are being tapped to create stronger partnerships by finding out what will encourage community buy-in on law enforcement programs.
A study conducted by George M. Froggé of Austin Peay State University (TN) revealed that police departments are already finding great use in web-based surveys. Since most people are now on the Web, law enforcement agencies can easily incorporate web-based surveys to do community surveys.
Effectiveness of Web-Based Survey
No doubt that web-based surveys are among the most popular types of surveys today. But law enforcement agencies might ask if web-based surveys are useful tools in gathering data from the community under their jurisdiction.
Studies have shown that web-based surveys are effective ways of conducting police surveys for these two reasons:
- Web-based surveys have a higher participation rate.
A 2005 study revealed that web-based surveys tend to have a better participation rate than traditional mail-in surveys. The researchers from Michigan State University also found out that web-based surveys are good options for a community wherein each individual has access to the internet.
Additionally, researchers learned that web-based surveys tend to get more participants than mail-in surveys in a similar experiment. The authors also found out that respondents to web-based surveys provided more substantive answers to qualitative questions.
- Web-based surveys are cheaper.
Another factor that contributes to its effectiveness is cost. A 2008 study stated that web-based surveys are a more accessible data gathering method than telephone or face-to-face surveys. The main factor is the relative cost.
It is cheaper to conduct web-based surveys than sending out physical questionnaires through mail or visiting individual respondents one by one in a face-to-face method. Also, web-based surveys can reach more participants than telephone or mail-in questionnaires at a lesser cost.
Officer Survey is perfectly positioned to offer a solution. Rather than wasting valuable time sifting through paperwork and notes hoping to find the proverbial needle in the haystack, Officer Survey can automate the entire process for you and extract the most meaningful data. It provides real-time data, tracks every law enforcement officer within an agency, and pinpoints problematic areas so Police Chief’s can address issues or concerns immediately.
Web-based surveys have become the most practical way to distribute police surveys. It is easier for police departments to reach the most significant community members without spending so much on surveys. Even more, police agencies can get a high participation rate in their surveys, which will allow them to get the best information that represents the community’s opinion. Be sure to read How to Write Survey Questions that get the most responses.