The University of Connecticut Police Department opened a survey asking for feedback from the UConn community at the beginning of the semester.
“The survey is not necessarily something new, it’s something we do every couple of years to see where we are how we can improve our services,” Captain Magdalena Silver said.
Silver said that UCPD has been issuing this survey every two to three years since 2000.
“The community changes, so it’s important to know if there are new services needed, if there’s something that’s not working (we want) to get that feedback from students and staff, especially because we get a new set of students every four years,” Silver said.
The survey asks respondents to provide feedback on topics such as which services and types of patrols they believe are the most important on campus as well as their satisfaction with their relations with UCPD and general feelings of safety on campus.
“We’re evaluating the agency performance, the perception of our students and staff about the attitudes and behaviors of the officers,” Silver said.
Silver said that, generally, the responses that have come in so far, of which there have been a few hundred, have been positive.
“Overall, it’s been positive, which is good to hear,” Silver said.
Silver said that the survey also collects information from the regional campuses.
“We do take the information from the regional campuses as well and we separate those because their community concerns will be a little different than ours here,” Silver said.
Silver said that this year, students have commented on UCPD’s lack of presence on social media.
“A lot of students have suggested that we don’t use social media enough and they don’t understand why so that’s kind of different from previous years,” Silver said.
Silver said that many respondents also display an interest in alcohol and drug policy awareness classes.
“(People) Want more education about alcohol and drug awareness,” Silver said, “I think a lot of people don’t understand the changes of laws and people come from other states where the laws may be a little bit different.
Silver said that the issues that get the most attention in the surveys differ every time it is distributed based on current events.
“It’ll be interesting to see what students are commenting on, it really depends on what is going around and what the main issues are,” Silver said, “There’s nothing that we’ve been able to pick on and say ‘this is a consistent problem’.”
One adjustment UCPD made in response to the 2014 survey was expanding foot patrols.
“Our last survey asked for officers to be walking more and that’s something we implemented,” Silver said.
Silver said that UCPD is always trying to connect with the UConn community.
“We are always looking for that contact between the police and the community and the staff that can give us that immediate feedback,” Silver said.
Some of the other ways UCPD maintains this contact is through educational programs on topics such as sexual assault, self-defense, identity theft, and bullying as well as tabling and other community outreach events.
“We really do a lot of other programming trying to learn about what our community needs (by) seeking citizens’ recommendations,” Silver said.
Silver said that, while UCPD always welcomes student feedback, the survey will close on approximately March 1 for statistics-gathering responses,
“We want to know the attitudes of the community and if they’re happy with the services we’re providing, or if we need to improve, or if there’s an area we haven’t thought of,” Silver said.
Anna Zarra Aldrich is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at . She tweets @ZarraAnna.