The vast majority of people who have had contact with Bellevue police staff say the force is highly professional, provides high-quality service and is fair and equitable.
Those were some of the major conclusions of a recent survey conducted by the Bellevue Police Department to gauge attitudes towards police and identify areas where improvements could occur.
“Overall, the survey results represent very good news,” Bellevue City Manager Steve Sarkozy said. “It reinforces our belief that our police officers are dedicated and intent on delivering the best services possible.”
Linda Pillo, who was appointed police chief in January, said the survey underscores the professionalism of the police department.
“It tells us we are providing first-class services to the community, and we need to continue to build on this track record as we look to the future,” Pillo said.
The survey was done by Oregon-based Advanced Marketing Research, Inc. Using questions proposed by Bellevue police, the firm conducted 402 telephone interviews from March 14 through March 23 with people who had had contact with the department.
The survey asked respondents to use a scale from one to seven, with seven representing the highest and best score possible. Key findings included:
When asked to rank the quality of service they had received, 76 percent of the respondents gave the department a score of 6 or 7;
The department received a mean score of 6.3 for professionalism and honesty, and a mean score of 6.1 for courtesy and fair and equitable treatment.
When asked to rate the competence of the police department employee they had contact with, 79 percent gave a score of six or seven.
The survey also asked respondents what one word they would use to describe the Bellevue Police Department. The word cited most frequently, or by 19 percent of those taking the survey, was “professional.”
The Bellevue Police Department is an internationally accredited department with 260 employees and an annual operating budget of $38 million. In recent years, the department has worked with the community to maintain Bellevue’s ranking as one of the safest cities in the nation.
Recent statistics released by the department showed both property and violent crimes down significantly in 2007 compared to the previous year.
Pillo said the department’s upcoming objectives include seeking opportunities to build additional partnerships in the community, including identifying ways of sharing regional resources, utilizing technology to become more efficient and deploying resources to target crime trends and prepare for the increased growth and density in the downtown area.
The department also plans on implementing new public safety initiatives, including a pilot program that utilizes cameras to catch motorists who jeopardize safety by running red lights and speed in school zones.
The department also is exploring a pilot program to install automatic electronic defibrillators in some patrol cars and at community substations to assist people who may be having a heart attack.