January 28, 2022
PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MPD Launches New Survey Tool to Better Understand Community Concerns
Partnership with Zencity will gauge trust and sentiment toward police & public safety issues
MERIDEN— In efforts to better understand community concerns in Meriden, City Manager Tim Coon, Police Chief Roberto Rosado, Mayor Kevin Scarpati, and local leaders announced today the launch of a survey tool to gauge trust and sentiment toward police and public safety issues.
Through a partnership with Zencity, a global technology company redefining community engagement to build better local governments, the Meriden Police Department joins a list of cities and law enforcement agencies across the U.S. taking advantage of software to effect change. Chicago, Phoenix, Seattle, and Sacramento are some of the cities who utilize the service.
“Making decisions on public safety should involve input from the public, and this new tool allows us to do just that,” City Manager Coon said. “These surveys will have a much broader reach into our communities by putting it on the apps the people use most. While we’ve collected extensive data over the years, this tool gives us a chance to connect with residents quickly and directly, offering us real time sentiments. This will be a great step toward really understanding the needs and concerns of our residents to make the best decisions for the future of public safety in our city.”
Starting next week, surveys translated into English and Spanish will begin to appear to Meriden residents through the use of digital ads in various locations such as news websites, social media platforms, blogs and apps. Based on responses, the tool will measure the safety and trust residents have in their communities, while also identifying key concerns residents want the police to address.
“This survey allows us to engage and collaborate with our community in new ways,” Police Chief Rosado said. “It will help us understand how residents across Meriden feel about police in their communities, make improvements based on that feedback, and monitor how that sentiment changes over time.”
In under five minutes, Meriden residents can help the Meriden Police Department and City leaders know how they feel. Questions asked 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)
- To what extent do you agree with the following statement: The police in my neighborhood are effective at solving problems and protecting the community.
- 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 survey is completely anonymous and does not gather or track personal data of respondents. The survey will typically gather 1,000 responses from Meriden, Connecticut, residents each month, across all police divisions. Once a good sampling of responses has been received, MPD will work with Zencity to create public dashboards on the trust and sentiment expressed by residents to a page on the MPD website, similar to those shared by the Seattle Police Department.
In addition to an ongoing general survey, MPD’s partnership with Zencity includes the ability to develop two customized surveys per year. With the help of Zencity experts, MPD could utilize this feature to gauge public sentiment on policy or other public safety initiatives being explored in Meriden.
“This new tool will help in providing better services to every resident of the City of Meriden,” said City Council Majority Leader Sonya Jelks. “Zencity will not only allow our Police Department the opportunity to improve, but all of our city departments will benefit from direct feedback. I think I speak for all City Council members that it is of utmost importance to improve our city’s customer service.”
“Community policing has been an integral part of protecting and serving our neighborhoods, and by partnering with Zencity we will be able to continue to build on our efforts to collect data from the community.” said Mayor Scarpati. “I am looking forward to receiving feedback from our city residents and using that information to create a better Meriden for all.”
This is the latest effort by the City of Meriden to increase community engagement and collaboration between Meriden residents and the MPD.
Score Calculation Methodology
Zencity’s Blockwise scores reflect the diversity of Meriden’s neighborhoods, incorporating voices from every corner of the community. To do so, Zencity sets response targets based on U.S. Census data about the districts and areas measured. Using geotags or zip codes associated with each confidential and anonymous survey response, the system assigns responses to the neighborhoods where they originate. Zencity ensures the security and privacy of its data and survey respondents. Survey responses are anonymous, unless a respondent chooses to share their email address for follow-up purposes, in which case their survey responses are kept confidential. Zencity does not collect a respondent’s name, address or any other personally identifying information.
Zencity’s trust and safety scores are generated from rating scale questions that people answer within surveys. Residents respond to three questions to create scores measuring their level of trust in police and how safe they feel in their community. Zencity then generates a monthly score, based on the latest data. Those scores represent the average response among respondents in that neighborhood, weighted to match that neighborhood’s demographic makeup. These scores are not percentages. Zencity’s weighting accounts for the responses of every single person who answered a question. The responses give a proportional voice to all demographics (e.g., by age, sex, race, education level, and income level) based on the makeup of that area.
Strategic Communications Specialist, firstname.lastname@example.org, 203-630-4121