East Bridgewater Police Chief Receives Results of Community Survey

East Bridgewater Police Department
Scott Allen, Chief of Police
153 Central St.
East Bridgewater, MA 02333

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017

Contact: John Guilfoil
Phone: 617-993-0003
Email: [email protected]

East Bridgewater Police Chief Receives Results of Community Survey

EAST BRIDGEWATER — Chief Scott Allen is pleased to announce that the East Bridgewater Police Department recently received the results of a community survey and that the responses are overwhelmingly positive.

The voluntary report is part of Chief Allen’s ongoing effort to develop a strategic plan for the department.

“As we look ahead to the future, it’s important for us to know what the community thinks of the job we’ve been doing, and where residents think we need to improve,” Chief Allen said. “While I was thrilled to see the survey results, we can always do better and will always work to improve. This evaluation is a great starting point that will help to guide us in our approach over the next several years.”

The 16-question survey was developed with the assistance of the Bridgewater State University Department of Criminal Justice and was used to measure community interactions and attitudes towards the East Bridgewater Police Department. The paper-based survey was delivered to every household in town with their water bills earlier this year.

Of the nearly 5,000 that were distributed, 452 were returned with responses.

The responses were then analyzed by Professor Shea Cronin and graduate student Shayne Finn at the Boston University Criminal Justice Department, within the Department of Applied Social Sciences.

The data shows that about 97 percent of the respondents feel that East Bridgewater is a safe place to live, are comfortable with calling the police if they need assistance and would share information about a crime to the police.

In addition, 97 percent of those surveyed wrote they are confident in the abilities of the department to serve the community and 94 percent agrees that they are satisfied with the way the department responds to emergencies.

Something that Chief Allen also finds promising is that 84 percent of respondents acknowledge that Plymouth County has a serious opioid problem and 69 percent are aware of the town’s opioid addiction treatment and prevention program, E.B. Hope.

The surveys went out in June and were done being collected in October. Boston University came back with their results of the analyzed data earlier this month.

While only about 10 percent of the surveys that were sent out were returned back with responses, there is still important information that can be gleaned from the data, Cronin said.

“These types of community surveys typically don’t have high response rates to begin with. The numbers we saw in the data collected are on-par and certainly higher than other kinds of community surveys from similar size departments and similarly situated communities,” Cronin said. “This general, broad-based community survey can give you a snapshot of how the average member of the community feels about the police and their interactions with the police.”

Chief Allen said they are just beginning their self-evaluation of the department and will continue to seek the opinions of the community members they serve.

“This was just the first step. We are planning on doing more outreach and looking to get additional feedback through officer initiated contacts. We will be engaging community groups, business owners and students starting at the beginning of next year,” Chief Allen said. “We truly want to gauge where we stand with our residents, so we can best serve our community.”