Newarkers will be asked to rate their cops

By Paul Milo | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
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on March 17, 2016

NEWARK — Pay a bill, go to a restaurant or buy a pair of shoes and you're likely to be asked your opinion of your customer-service experience.

Taking a page from that script, the Newark Police Department is now actively seeking feedback from the public it serves, via surveys administered by rookie cops.

In a statement released Thursday, Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose said officers will contact members of the public following service calls and ask them to provide feedback. Respondents will be chosen at random from among members of the public who called police for assistance.

"Today we initiated the process to contact the first 1,500 randomly selected citizens. This the first step in an ongoing process," Ambrose said in the statement.

The phone survey will ask citizens to rate individual officers and the department on such measures as demeanor and response time, with the results to be used in training and as a guide in corrective action. Follow-up surveys will be carried out to asses progress.

"I announced that I would implement strategies that were both designed to reduce crime and to improve the relationships with the public.  This is one of the first steps," Ambrose said.  

"These surveys are another important step towards giving the people on Newark input in the decisions that are being made with regards to public safety and ensuring cooperation between the citizens and the police," Mayor Ras Baraka said.

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