Nampa Police Dept. survey asks for feedback from community

NAMPA, Idaho (KBOI) - Do you want to give your two cents to local law enforcement? Now's your chance! The Nampa Police Department is starting a program this week that will allow you to give feedback about your interaction with their officers.

The Nampa Police department is one of 100 agencies around the country selected for the program, which aims to help officers better understand the needs of the people in their community.

Police encounters that involve traffic stops and accidents, as well as most non-violent crimes will be part of the survey. Cases that involve juveniles, or encounters that result from domestic violence or sexual assault will not be included.

That means, within two weeks of interacting with an officer, you will receive a survey you can fill out by mail, email, or on the phone. The information you provide will be anonymous, and handled through the University of Illinois at Chicago. The Nampa Police Department will only see the general results from the feedback.

"Good, bad, whatever, we want to know it all," Sgt. Tim Randall of the Nampa Police Department said.

The department hopes this survey will open up the lines of communication between citizens and law enforcement officers.

"We are a public service entity and we serve the public," Randall said. "We need to know what they're thinking and what they want in order for us to better do our jobs."

The program also gives you a chance to sound off.

"I think it's good if people feel like they have a voice," Nampa resident Robert Dunfee said. "It's empowering of course. I think people when they have interactions with the police they automatically feel dis-empowered because they are in a powerless situation."

Most people we talked with say they think the program will be a good checks and balance system, even though it is temporary.

"These are the people that are protecting us, upholding the rules," Nampa resident Brian Loeber said. "You want to have open communication with whatever line of work you're in, and especially when people hold that much authority, it's good for them to know what citizens are thinking and how we feel like we're being treated."

Getting people to respond, police say, will be the tricky part. The department needs to get 500 responses from citizens, but are anticipating a 10 percent return rate on the surveys. Survey developers said they are expecting to send out more than 5,000 surveys. Randall says the more people they get responding to the surveys, the better their department will be able to make adjustments and implement changes where they're needed.