CLEVELAND — With the Cleveland Community Police Commission set to take on an even bigger role because of the passage of Issue 24 in November, the community’s collective voice — and participation — is needed more than ever. In an effort to garner more participation, the commission has extended the deadline for residents to complete a vital survey used to gauge the progress made under the consent decree.
Originally set to conclude at the end of March, the commission extended the deadline of the Community Satisfaction Survey to May 15. The decision to do so was motivated by a noticeable decline in the level of participation compared to past surveys, due in part to the ongoing pandemic, said commissioner LaToya Logan.
“As you might imagine, COVID has changed a lot of things,” Logan said. “Due to COVID, we’ve had to extend it just a little bit so we aren’t excluding everyone and we’re not rushing individuals to complete this process.”
The pandemic has limited the commission’s ability to reach those who have recently come into contact with police officers. Because of those limitations, the commission has broadened its reach by actively seeking participants at a litany of community spaces, including barbershops and recreation centers.
“Our goal is to obtain feedback from community members, period. But we really want to capture those experiences and interactions from citizens that actually engage with officers,” Logan said.
The survey, which takes an estimated 10 to 15 minutes to complete, asks a series of questions designed to measure a resident’s level of satisfaction regarding the performance of Cleveland police officers over the past 24 months. The survey responses are examined on both the qualitative and quantitative level and are used to potentially influence policy and training, and determine areas of improvement.
“We know police officers who are dedicated to their jobs who really believe in protecting and serving, as well as the safety and support of the community,” Logan said. “They want to know how citizens feel about the work they are doing.”
Loh, a longtime Cleveland resident and active participant at various public bodies, boards and advisory committees, has routinely filled out past surveys and this year is no exception.
“This year, finally I could see a couple of good [interactions with Cleveland police] that I personally witnessed or I personally experienced,” Loh said. “I could actually give a little bit of good news. However, these are still spotty. We need more of these good incidents.”
From a community advocacy perspective, Loh encourages people to complete the survey at every opportunity because of the value it provides.
“People do need to raise their voice and say, ‘hey, I’m here. I’m telling you this is what I observed and this is what I experienced. It’s wrong and we need to change it,” Loh said. “If you only complain about it, that won’t fix the issue. Your life won’t get changed. You actually have to participate.”
A link to the survey can be found here. Paper copies of the survey are also available upon request.