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Jul 16, 2014 1:03 PM by Dave Fields

Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office asks citizens to rate its public interactions

Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office is asking citizens to rate their interactions with sheriff's deputies as part of a national survey.

National Police Research Platform's Police Community Interaction (PCI) Survey is being administered by the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) to collect information to improve police procedures and overall law enforcement performance, both locally at the Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office (LPSO), and also statewide and across the nation.

"We sincerely hope that anyone who has had an interaction with one of our officers and receives the letter will take the survey and provides us with honest feedback. Only then can we truly understand how our officers are interacting with the community and implement changes where they are needed," reads an LPSO release.

Some persons coming in contact with Deputies are being offered an opportunity to participate in the survey designed to collect information to help establish new benchmarks for excellence in policing and thus ultimately improve the quality of police services delivered to the community.

LPSO is one of approximately 100 agencies participating in this innovative national program being conducted through the UIC's Center for Research in Law and Justice .

Based on a pilot program administered by UIC researchers as part of the National Police Research Platform, participating agencies will be able to use the survey data to monitor their performance and improve their training programs. LPSO employees are also participating in the National Police Research Platform Employee Survey, which gathers information nationally from both sworn and civilian law enforcement employees about job satisfaction, job safety, work life balance, and community interaction. Aggregate results of this survey will be available later his year.

The procedure for the general public to participate in the (PCI) survey is as follows:

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 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 include a special code needed to participate in the survey and ensure that only one survey is completed for each encounter.

Sheriff Mike Neustrom explains that all answers to the survey are completely confidential, and no participating should be concerned that the information could be used in other ways, clarifying that all survey responses will be managed by the UIC researchers and that none of the survey information will be collected by the Sheriff's Office. LPSO's also notes that 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.

Sheriff's deputy encounters involving traffic accidents and stops, as well as most non-violent crimes, will be part of the survey. However, encounters resulting from domestic violence, sexual assault, drugs, alcohol, or involving juveniles will not be surveyed.

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