Sheriff’s Office Asks For Citizen Opinion
In 2007, Sheriff Dotson and his team asked Lincoln County citizens for their input into a strategic plan for the agency. The Sheriff’s Office conducted a citizen survey and a series of community meetings to solicit input about the public’s needs and expectations related to law enforcement services in the county. That input was used to make significant changes and improvements in Sheriff’s Office operations.
Now Sheriff Dotson and his team want to know how they’ve been doing. They are once again asking for the public to take part in a citizen survey designed to gauge citizen satisfaction with the direction they are headed and the changes that have been made.
A telephone survey company will be making random calls to citizens during the week of September 16-18 to ask a series of questions designed to gauge public opinion about a variety of public safety-related issues. The survey should only take a few minutes of each citizen’s time. A total of 350 citizens will be randomly called. In order to assure the Sheriff’s Office receives a representative sample from throughout the community, the individuals called will represent an exact cross section of the community, with demographics that match the overall make-up of the entire county. This means that the survey company is sometimes looking for respondents of a certain age or gender in order to maintain a representative sample. The Sheriff’s Office wants to assure the public that the survey process is safe and secure. The survey personnel will not be asking about any personal information.
“We know people are concerned about identity theft issues so we want to assure everyone that the only types of personal information they will be asked will be their age, which area of the county they reside and the type of housing they live in. The reason for this is so we can adequately segment the responses. The rest of the questions are related to opinions about public safety services,” Dotson explained. “If anyone calls asking about personal information such as your bank accounts, how you voted in past elections or any other sensitive information, you can be assured, it’s not part of this survey.”
“We really hope people will take the time to participate. It’s important to us to understand what the taxpayers are feeling about their investment in the way we are currently providing law enforcement services, the changes we have made and additional things we can do in the future to continue to serve their needs,” Dotson said.
The Sheriff’s Office will be presented with the survey results in early October. The Sheriff’s Office then plans to hold at least one public meeting to share the results of the survey with the public and to receive any additional observations from citizens.
“We are excited about continuing the process we started two years ago and learning more about how we can serve our community,” Dotson said. “We want to continually do what is best to make our citizens feel safe and secure.”
For more information on the citizen survey, contact Kathy Manning, Sheriff’s Administrative Assistant at (541) 265-0652.