New Holland police survey aims to build community relationship

NEW HOLLAND, Pa. (WHTM) – Kesley Means read questions and answers as she filled out a survey from the New Holland Police Department.

“Question six: the officer I had contact with showed concern for my safety,” she read. “Strongly agree, agree, neutral, or disagree.”

Means, who works in New Holland, filled out the survey on Monday.

“I think it’s brave of them,” she said of the department. “I think it shows they’re really interested in the community and what the community is feeling right now.”

The 20-question survey comes out at a time when police-community relations are suffering across the country after a number of officer-involved shootings.

“Our goal was two-fold,” police Chief Don Bowers said. “Number one, ascertain what kind of job the community thinks we’re doing. If they have an issue with it, what would they like to see us do to improve?”

Bowers told ABC27 News his department has not struggled with bad relationships. He said people can fill out the questionnaire  without using their names.

Bowers believes the survey is one way to keep lines of communication open between officers and those they serve, which he said should prevent troubles.

“The only way we can be effective in doing our job is if people are talking to us,” he said. “We emphasize that in our day-to-day contact with our constituents.”

Means told ABC27 News she agreed with Bowers statements. She said a tool like the survey can help police interactions moving forward.

“It shows you are making steps I think would help and would change my perception if I had a bad perception, which I don’t,” she said. “I think it definitely shows you’re trying to improve community relations.”

You can find the survey online here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/newhollandpolice

 

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