SHERIDAN — The Sheridan Police Department has begun sending out surveys via the U.S. Postal Service in an attempt to gather information about how to improve its service to the community. The written format questionnaire is being sent to citizens at random after they have contact with officers.
SPD Sgt. Travis Koltiska said citizens served by 5 percent of calls that come in are being asked to give their feedback on how well they believe they were served by the police officers that responded to the incident.
“Essentially, we’re always looking for ways to improve services,” Koltiska said. “We’re just looking for any recommendations the community has and hoping to learn how happy or unhappy they are with how services were provided.”
Koltiska said that while a mechanism to get public feedback about police service calls has been a topic of discussion for several years at the police department, this is the first time any tool has been implemented to serve that function. The Citizen Survey began in February and will likely continue indefinitely.
“We’re constantly looking for input from the community,” Koltiska explained.
There is a delay of two months from the time a member of the public calls the police department and when the survey arrives in their mailbox. Survey candidates are chosen out of a random 5 percent sample of all calls received by the department, which is every 20th caller.
“The survey is sent out for all kinds of situations,” Koltiska said. “Maybe they had no direct contact with a police officer. Then, we would ask them how dispatch handled the call, whether they would like to see something done differently.”
Koltiska said to date, participation in the new Citizen Survey is low, even though a self-addressed, stamped envelope is included along with the questionnaire.
“We’re hoping people will start returning them,” he said. “We hope people will take a few minutes to complete it, and drop it in the mail so we can get some data.”
Koltiska emphasized the survey is an indicator of the department’s ongoing commitment to provide quality service to the community.