Prince William County, VA… In December 2020, the Police Department conducted a Community Satisfaction Survey to gauge residents' perceptions and feelings about police services in Prince William County. To remain a nationally accredited law enforcement agency through CALEA, the Police Department is required to conduct such a survey every two years. For consistency with past surveys in assessing trends and identifying areas to strengthen, the same format, wording, and order of the questions were maintained, as well as the 10-point measurement scale used since 2014.
The survey was conducted by Issues + Answers, a privately owned, full-service market research and consulting firm headquartered in Virginia. The firm is a leading supplier of survey research services to government entities across the country and has conducted more than 20,000 studies with key staff having more than 20 years of research experience. Although County funded, the survey is conducted independently and exclusively by the firm with no involvement or influence from the Police Department.
A total of nine measures were surveyed, including seven on the perceptions of police services and two on feelings of safety in the community. The survey represented the demographic make-up of the County with quotas in place to address all geographical areas of the County, including all major demographic groups.
In total, 826 interviews were completed using landlines and cell phones with the average length of the interview lasting approximately 11 minutes. The surveys were conducted in both English and Spanish. Data in the final report was weighted to reflect 2018 estimates based on ethnicity, gender, age, and ensuring no groups were over-weighed.
In the overall findings, the research firm noted that perceptions of County residents towards Police Department services and feelings of safety were positive and increased across all nine measures in comparison to the survey conducted in 2018, with most responses indicating "very satisfied" or "satisfied" in the 90th percentile in all areas.
Historically, conducting community surveys have been used to gauge individual views and experiences. The results provide another opportunity for our agency to receive feedback on the delivery of police services and how we are doing. Surveys are another tool to help guide decision making on where we need to focus our resources to improve police services.
For more information on the Community Satisfaction Survey, please view the Prince William County Community-Police Satisfaction Survey Results Report.