NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A new survey will grade North Charleston police on everything from fighting crime, visibility and helping crime victims to the use of excessive force and stopping people without good reason.
The survey, launched Tuesday, is part of the department's efforts to improve its service, according to a release from North Charleston Police spokesman Spencer Pryor.
"We are excited about the process and the opportunity to improve our existing initiatives and implement other programs that will further strengthen the relationship between community and law enforcement," Police Chief Reggie Burgess said.
The survey is being conducted by the Police Foundation, a contractor for the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) office, Pryor said.
NORTH CHARLESTON RESIDENTS: Click here to take the survey.
Some people living in North Charleston shared their answers with Live 5 News to some of the questions on the survey.
When Gerald Sanders was asked if he trusts the police department to make decisions that are good for everyone in the city, he said he disagreed.
"You've got to look at what happens in North Charleston sometimes in different communities," Sanders said. "But now that there's a different police chief there'll be a difference."
Sanders isn't the only one who hopes there will be a difference.
Pastor Thomas Dixon has been a leading activist pushing for change within the police department.
"If it helps in any way I'm good with that, in any kind of way," Dixon said. "But until we get to the root of the problem in the police department itself, we're never going to bridge the gap between law enforcement and the community."
Dixon has been calling for the Department of Justice to release its findings on the North Charleston Police Department since it was announced they wouldn't be released.
"The information obtained through the community survey will help us further improve upon our police department's policies, training, proactive policing efforts, and ongoing community outreach activities," Mayor Keith Summey said.
All responses will go directly to the Police Foundation.
No one will be asked for their name or any other information that would allow them to be personally identified.
Over the last year, the department has worked with the Department of Justice Community Oriented Policing Services to provide assistance with training, subject matter experts, and national best practices, said Spencer Pryor with NCPD.
The department will concentrate on four areas: Community Policing and Violence Reduction; Strategic Planning; Training, Recruiting, Hiring, and Retention; and Data and Technology.
The results of the survey will be made available to the public.
A Spanish-language version of the survey will also be released, Pryor said