ETPD announces 2020 CALEA Citizen Survey Results
In Evesham Township, the police department wants to ensure this community has full faith and trust in its police. We want to make sure that we live up to the public’s expectations of officers and that we are following the mission and core values of the Evesham Township Police Department. In keeping with our commitment of adhering to our internal motto of “Commitment to Excellence”, we created a 2020 public survey to see what areas we are doing right, what we need to improve on and to provide an avenue for the community members to have a voice.
We decided to create a survey containing a mix of multiple choice and long-answer questions. We wanted to publish the survey online so we could reach as many people as possible, but also understood one limitation is a person has to have access to a computer or access to a social media page. We also wanted a site where we could collect the results in a user-friendly manner. After looking at a few survey sites, the decision was made to utilize Survey Monkey. The survey was launched July 15, 2020 and concluded August 20, 2020. Hard copy versions of the survey were available at the department for those who did not have access to the internet.
We didn’t want the survey to be too long, so we capped it at 14 questions. We asked what the public’s perceptions were of the department, how the public perceives the department, what crime concerns the participants have, how we can improve and finally the demographics of the participant. It was important to include a comment section so we could find out details from our interactions. The survey was made public at a council meeting, on the police department’s social media and webpage sites.
Overall, we were pleased with the results. Out of the 130 completed surveys, 87 percent said our performance was “Good” to “Excellent.” The majority of the participants had some sort of contact with the department in the preceding 12 months. Most of the contact came at community events. Calls for police services came in a close second. Overall 87 percent of the participants listed a response of “Excellent” or “Good” with the overall outcome of the contact.
As for greatest concerns regarding safety and security in Evesham, we received the following responses:
1. Burglary (32%)
2. Neighborhood Speeding (16%)
3. Personal Safety (15%)
4. Other (11%)
5. Crimes against children (7%)
6. Theft (5%)
7. Narcotics Violations (4%)
8. Traffic law, Child safety, Robbery (2%)
9. Identify Theft (2%)
**#4- Other: 19 comments received citizens use of cell phone while driving, disrespect to law enforcement, police having biased interactions and concerns regarding defunding the police**
We asked how safe our residents feel in Evesham Township with 95 percent reporting Very Safe or Somewhat Safe. There was an increase from the 2016 and 2018 results in the percentage of citizens who felt very safe in our Township.
Evesham Township overall is a safe place to live, work and play. According to the survey participants, overall the perception is that there is little to no crime in their area, which is a little concerning. Because of people thinking this, we tend to see a lot of crimes happening to people who are caught off guard. A perfect example is car burglaries that happen to people who leave their doors unlocked. With our updated website, Facebook and Instagram pages, NextDoor and NIXLE accounts, hopefully we can reach out to people when the vehicle burglaries are happening. We will be able to remind them to lock their cars and remove their valuables from public view.
Even though our approval rating was very high, there is always room for improvement. The responses from our survey came from a small portion of our population. We will continue to try to get more valuable feedback from all segments of our community. We anticipate we will be releasing more surveys in the future. Our goal is to have a positive relationship with the Evesham Township community. By listening to what the public’s needs and wants are, this department will continue to be professional, responsive to public safety concerns, and continue to be valuable resource for the visitors, business owners and residents of Evesham Township.
If there are any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the Evesham Township Police Department.
Chief Christopher Chew