Tuesday, February 15, 2000

Police survey gets students' assist




BY DAVID ECK
Enquirer Contributor

        MIDDLETOWN — The police department wants to know what residents think about its service, and is teaming up with a Miami University-Middletown marketing class to find out.

        The department, with the students' help, created and mailed 2,000 surveys to Middletown residents. The surveys contain 20 questions, asking residents about their attitudes toward the department, problems in their neighborhoods, what the department is doing well and what it needs to work on, Police Chief Bill Becker said.

        “Hopefully we're going to get a pretty good idea of what the community thinks about our police department,” the chief said. “Whatever we get back is going to give us the blueprint of where we want to go.”

        The survey is a first for the department.

        Survey respondents are not required disclose their names and addresses, but the department is asking for the respondents' neighborhoods. Surveys should be be sent back by late April.

        The questionnaires will be returned directly to the class, led by Professor Susan Baim, and the students will compile the information into a report for the department, Chief Becker said. The students are doing the work as a class project.

        “It's something that both sides need,” Chief Becker said. “We're anxiously awaiting to see how it works.”

        For the students, the project offers real-life practice.

        “This marketing research project is a great opportunity to perform a valuable service for the community and for the police department,” said Kristi Jeffery, a student from Middletown. “It's a great learning experience to be able to gather the data and pursue all of the marketing concepts necessary to really understand what the results mean.”

        Student Greg Rose, a lifelong Middletown resident, said the police department's effort shows it cares what citizens think.

        “How the community perceives the service they receive from our police department is important to me not only as a student, but also as a parent and a member of this community,” Mr. Rose said.

        “This type of cooperation between two very important community organizations shows that both want to support the Middletown community,” he said.

       



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