The University of Connecticut Police Department has continued its tradition of releasing a survey for students to evaluate and give perspective on police performance. UCPD has established a good track record of implementing suggested changes. Moving forward, UCPD should continue this trend and, as suggested in surveys, create as much positive, constructive contact and communication with the UConn community as possible.
In a Jan. 27 report the Daily Campus’ Anna Aldrich, quoted UCPD Captain Magdalena Silver as saying, “We’re evaluating the agency performance, the perception of our students and staff about the attitudes and behaviors of the officers” through the survey. It is good to see the campus police department getting involved in this sort of proactive outreach. Campus police play an integral and visible part in student life; building positive connections can only be mutually beneficial.
In the past, UCPD has expanded foot patrols to increase communication between officers and the UConn community. As social media continues to grow into a constant part of the modern university, students have suggested the UCPD integrate this aspect of 21st century communication into their outreach. Captain Silver said this represented a change from past years. UCPD should seek to integrate social media into their programs, to allow greater and easier communication with students. While the report said the survey ends on March 1, a social media presence could allow year-round communication between the UConn community and the UCPD.
Social media could also provide a solution to student responses requesting more information regarding alcohol and drug education. Captain Silver relayed survey concerns regarding drug and alcohol laws in Connecticut, most likely from students coming to UConn from out of state. Using social media to provide valuable information would be a welcome change from the UCPD.
The UCPD relationship with students and the greater UConn community benefits from greater communication. This survey and the application of suggested changes shows an effort to understand and consider legitimate criticisms and requests. While it may be difficult for the UCPD and the UConn community to fully understand the concerns of each respective group, this effort ameliorates the issue.
So long as UCPD takes the concerns of the community seriously and continues to show efforts at real change, this survey will continue to play a valuable role in the UConn community.