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An integral part of modern policing is getting feedback from the community being served. Traditionally, police obtained citizen feedback by holding community meetings in venues such as local churches, community centers, or schools. With the advent of computers and the increased ability to analyze data, many police departments have borrowed the concept of marketing surveys from the private sector to evaluate community demands and how they respond to community needs.

Citizen surveys provide multiple advantages to police agencies. The first lies in the relatively low cost associated with the administration of the surveys and tabulation of the results. A well-designed survey can be printed numerous times and used over multiple years. The second benefit lies in the ability to study results over time. Of course, comparisons ...

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