Guilford residents and others who interact with the town’s Police Department have the chance this month to give feedback on law enforcement in the community, via a survey available until Sep. 24.
The Guilford Police Department administers the survey every couple of years as part of its credentialing process with the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, said police Chief Warren “Butch” Hyatt.
“It’s kind of a checks and balance for us,” Hyatt said of the survey, calling it a chance to “see how we’re doing” and identify areas for improvement.
First Selectman Matthew Hoey took a similar view of the initiative.
“While our Police Department has enjoyed a great reputation within our community, I am a firm believer in the axiom, what can be measured, can be improved,” he said in an email. “I strongly encourage residents to take the opportunity to share their thoughts and opinions on their interactions and perceptions of the Guilford Police Department.”
A link to the survey is available on the department’s website.
It asks respondents whether they’ve had contact with an officer in the last two years and in what capacity the interaction occurred, whether it was as a citizen reporting a crime or as someone who was the subject of an investigation.
The respondent may then qualify their interaction, indicating whether or not the officer was “professional and courteous,” for example, and whether the officer “made me feel comfortable.”
The survey also poses general questions, asking for input on whether respondents feel safe in town and whether the department adequately communicates about police matters.
It’s an initiative that aims to “measure levels of police performance” and to “measure citizens’ perception of officers’ attitudes and behaviors,” according to a departmental release.
“The Guilford Police Department values the opinions of those we serve and we welcome any input you can provide that may help us to improve as an organization,” the release says. “Your participation in this survey will help us better understand the needs of our community and to identify areas for potential improvement.”
The survey opened Sep. 4 and will close on Sep. 24, according to the release.
Those with questions may contact Chief Hyatt at 203-453-8244, the release said.