PEEKSKILL, N.Y. -- The Peekskill Police Department will be reaching out to residents in the coming months using a survey.
Police Chief Eric Johansen introduced Dr. Kelly Henry of John Jay School of Criminal Justice to the council, who was helping to put the survey together.
"You want to fundamentally increase the level and quality of communication between the police and the community members, so I think this is opening a dialog between the residents and police."
Henry proposed an exploratory pilot study, which is designed to learn about issues important to residents and be statistically representative of the population.
The survey would ask residents and possible business owners or visitors to give demographic data such as age and race and where the live in the city and ask them to state what they feel are the biggest problems in the city.
The survey would also ask residents how satisfied they are with the work of the city police.
The large Hispanic population in the city would also be addressed in the way the survey was handled to language and trust barriers of that population, many of whom are recent immigrants to the Unites States, Henry said.
"If they or someone they know are undocumented, they may not trust the police because of experiences with their country of origin," she said.
The field researchers who would conduct the study would be aiming for 300 responses, 150 of which would come from the Hispanic community.
The survey would take about nine weeks and could be started as early as June 10, Henry said.
Members of the council said they preferred the survey results to stay with the the city officials and the police chief and not be made public.
"This started off as tool for the police chief," said Mayor Mary Foster. "The police chief is newly appointed in his role and we envision this would be helpful to him as he is getting a better handle on perceptions, not just anecdotal but from people who normally wouldn't call the police department."