In late May, the Dalton Police Department mailed out a Citizen Survey to randomly-selected residents of Dalton and now the agency is waiting for responses from those surveyed.
Officials said, "If you've received a survey in the mail, we ask that you please take the time to fill it out and return it with the included envelope. Even if a survey from the police department has arrived at your home addressed to a previous resident, we ask that you fill it out and return it anyway."
The Citizen Survey is one of the exercises the department performs to identify issues within the community and the agency itself which need to be addressed in the upcoming Strategic Plan. The department also performs an employee survey. Upon completion of those surveys, the department conducts a review of both the citizen and employee surveys and the previous Strategic Plan by committees of agency employees and Dalton citizens. The department’s current three-year plan runs through 2015 and the new plan will cover 2016-2018. The survey is also part of the agency's accreditation process with CALEA (the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc).
To achieve a random and representative sample of the population, the police department has used its records management software to select a random sample of citizens who have had contact with the department proportional to the demographic makeup of Dalton. However, officials said, "If a survey form was mailed to your home addressed to a previous resident, we ask that you fill it out and return it anyway."
If the department does not receive enough responses to achieve a representative sample, volunteers will visit surveyed homes in mid to late June to attempt to solicit responses. These will be volunteers who are not police officers or employed by the Dalton Police Department.