Some local residents will find their June City of Ardmore utility bill contains something extra — a survey asking for citizen input about the police department.
Deputy Chief Eric Hamblin, APD, said the survey has been mailed to a "a random sampling of Ardmore's population," but he added police are encouraging all citizens to participate in the survey.
"Everyone can answer the survey's questions online at www.ardmorecity.org/police/," he said.
Once on the APD website the survey can be located by clicking on APD Forms and Informational Brochures, located on the left side of the screen, and then scrolling down and clicking on 2013 Citizen Survey.
The survey is not long and involved. In fact it should take just minutes to complete.
"It's brief and easy to answer. It's a four-part questionnaire. Part one contains questions concerning your experience with the police department including multiple choice questions on overall performance, overall competence and attitudes and behaviors of the APD from patrol officers to detectives and from dispatch to animal control," Hamblin said.
"The second portion of the survey contains four questions concerning safety and security. The third and fourth parts target crime prevention, community involvement programs, suggestions and recommendations for improvement of police services."
The survey is similar to the one the APD issued in 2010. So why another survey and why now?
"It's part of the process the department went through through to obtain accreditation and now it's to assist in maintaining our accreditation," Hamblin said. "That's one reason. The other? We are genuinely interested in how the public perceives our performance. We are headed in a new direction, and that direction includes a real desire to improve our overall level of service."
The most important aspects of the survey? Again, Hamblin said the answer is twofold.
"First, we're hoping everyone will take time to fill it out. We hope they will be open and honest in their answers and then, most importantly, return it. It can be sent back with the utility bill payment, dropped it off at the police department or answered online," Hamblin said. "Regardless of how it's returned, the survey doesn't ask for names or addresses so when they are received by the department there is no way to know who provided the responses — all of the answers are anonymous."
Second, just as Ardmore residents are encouraged to become involved in their neighborhoods by reporting suspicious or unusual activity, Hamblin said the survey is a way citizens can be actively involved in the APD and for the department to enhance service to the community.
"It's a way for people to help guide and shape the future of the department," Hamblin said.
Once the surveys have been returned and the data compiled, Hamblin said general information regarding the results of the survey will be released.
To ask questions about the survey call police headquarters at (580) 223-1212.