Volunteers working with the Dalton Police Department will begin visiting residences in Dalton this weekend to solicit responses to the agency’s 2014 Citizen Survey. Responses from Dalton residents on the survey will help shape the police department’s strategic plans for the next several years. Survey questions cover topics such as residents’ perception on crime in Dalton, the performance of the police department, and other issues. Survey forms were mailed out in late May but so far, enough forms have not been returned to achieve a representative sample.
Beginning this weekend running into next week, volunteers will be visiting homes of people who have not yet returned their survey forms. To assure residents that the volunteers are working for the police department survey, they will have plastic ID cards like the one pictured. They will be civilian volunteers and not police officers (the sample ID card pictures a DPD officer, but he will not be performing the survey).
Officials said, "If you have 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 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.