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Greensboro Police launch new survey to get community feedback

The department is the first department in the south to use Zencity's Blockwise survey to get input on community safety and trust in the police.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — The Greensboro Police Department is launching a new community survey, aiming to get feedback on safety and trust in the department. 

The new survey called "Blockwise" is a partnership with Zencity, a global technology company that works with hundreds of cities across the country. Greensboro is the first city in North Carolina and the first police department in the south to use this technology. It will appear through advertisements on mobile devices and takes under five minutes to complete. It will also be in English and Spanish, depending on what language the device is set to.

"I think we’ve always wanted feedback from the community because we always wanna do our job better," said Interim Police Chief Teresa Biffle. "I think we do a great job, but we are never going to stop wanting to improve."

The "Blockwise" survey will also be broken down by location so police can get an idea of community-specific concerns. 

"It allows us to be more effective," said Greensboro Assistant Police Chief John Thompson. "I think previously when we had a survey that was done here, (...) it was blasted out to the entire city, and we didn’t know where those concerns were coming from."

"We want to make Greensboro safe for all people in every area and we know that concerns in one neighborhood are not the concerns of another," said Interim Chief Biffle. "So this is just going to be a really valuable resource for the community to tell us how we can help them, and that always lets them help us in the long run."

RELATED: 'A child abduction that was thwarted:' Greensboro police say license plate cameras have been a success

Greensboro residents who spoke with News 2 Wednesday said talking to everyone is important. 

"I believe the survey is a great idea because you can get feedback from all different types of people who have had different experiences with the police within (their) communities," said Jameson Baxter.

GPD officials said building relationships with the community is a two-way street.

"The police should know how people feel about them, because that will help them to know where they can grow (and) what they are doing well," said Marie Terry, a Greensboro resident. "(You) can’t make any assumptions about whether you were doing a good job without knowing if the people you were serving feel that way."

The department said knowing what they are doing well if also helpful and can help with morale. 

"We are facing a profession where people don’t want to get into law-enforcement, because of the constant barrage of negative feedback that they receive, whether it’s worth it or not," said Assistant Chief Thompson. "So I'm excited to see the impact this will have internally, and hopefully build the morale of our officers to understand that they have support in the community."

Some of the questions asked on the survey include:

  • When it comes to the threat of crime, how safe do you feel in your neighborhood? Please indicate on a scale of 0 (not safe at all) to 10 (completely safe).
  • How much do you agree with this statement? The police in my neighborhood treat local residents with respect. (Level of agreement from 0-10)
  • How much do you agree with this statement? The police in my neighborhood listen to and take into account the concerns of local residents. (Level of agreement from 0-10)
  • What is the number one issue or problem on your block or in your neighborhood that you would like the police to deal with? Please be specific. [Open-ended response]

The department said they are working on developing a website to make the results of the survey public. The survey results will be compiled quarterly. 

RELATED: Greensboro police conclude Operation School Watch: End of initiative report

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