34 people. Five sessions. Priceless feedback.
Nothing can replace the face-to-face. People want a personal connection with Department members, more so at the street level. Whenever possible, we will be involving officers more frequently in neighborhood meetings and other events.
Not too many departments are using focus groups to challenge their communication models. I credit our public information staff and, particularly, Erica Reuter for developing and executing this process. The return on investment was phenomenal, given that it was easy to find volunteers who freely offered great advice in the interest of supporting their police department. It’s a living, breathing animal, so I look forward to seeing how it evolves in future sessions.
The dynamic nature of social media will require us to be current, creative and, most importantly, relevant to our unique communities. I think tools and processes, such as focus groups, can help point us in the right direction. I look forward to seeing what other agencies are doing to become better “connected cops.” Let us know what you think.