OSUPD chief praises survey results
Thursday, December 12, 2019
The results are in for the Oklahoma State University Police Department’s 2019 Customer Feedback Survey, the department’s first large-scale feedback.
Chief Leon Jones was pleased with the results.
“Any and all results, whether positive or negative, are great simply because people participated,” he said. “We had a tremendous response to this survey, and we will use the results to improve.”
The department enlisted the help of University Assessment and Testing to design and administer the survey. From design to data analysis and dissemination, the survey process followed a scientific protocol. Director Dr. Ryan Chung said more than 7,000 people responded to the survey out of more than 27,000 students, faculty and staff.
“We had a 25 percent response rate, which is excellent,” Chung said.
Approximately 95 percent of respondents said they “feel safe on the Stillwater campus during the day,” with 65 percent reporting feeling safe on campus at night. About 87 percent believe the OSUPD is visible on vehicle patrol. The numbers fell into the 60s when measuring the visibility of foot and bicycle patrol.
The department won high marks for professionalism, with approval from 85 percent of all respondents. For those who had encountered an officer within the past 12 months, approval ratings were in the 90s for the officers’ respectfulness, appearance and demeanor.
The survey also provided insight into the use of the university’s personal safety app and awareness of OSUPD’s services. More than 82 percent of respondents were aware they could request a SafeWalk, a program in which a public safety officer is available to walk someone across campus from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Fewer than half knew the OSUPD would jump-start a vehicle, unlock a vehicle or open an office. Between 45 percent and a little more than 67 percent of respondents knew about the department’s crime prevention programs. More than 60 percent did not know about the Annual Security Report issued by the OSUPD.
Jones said a survey was the most efficient way to gauge community members’ opinions on the department’s performance and get feedback on their wants and needs concerning the OSUPD.
“Our mission statement says we will use all available resources, and I believe our best resources are our community members,” Jones said. “As a police agency, we can always say what we believe is best for our community, but we need to ask our community what it needs. We were interested in not only property, building or personal safety, but also what they would like from their police officers to help them feel safe.”
Jones said the feedback will be used to improve the department. One change that will be implemented after the first of the year is a satellite office and dedicated foot and bicycle patrol for the north side of campus. A “core campus” patrol area is already established for the south side of campus. Officers have a satellite office at the Student Union. They patrol the area around the union, Edmon Low Library and surrounding buildings that aren’t easily accessible by vehicle, making officers more accessible to the campus community.
“A north side core campus will provide even more personalized service for our campus community,” Jones said. “It’s the epitome of community policing, where officers assigned to the patrol area spend more time interacting face-to-face with the students, faculty and staff.”
The OSUPD is planning to repeat the survey every two to three years.
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