South Portland police seek public opinion

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SOUTH PORTLAND — The Police Department is reaching out to residents and business leaders for feedback about its performance, in an effort to update its long-range plan.
The department previously conducted community surveys in 1997 and 2003, which were used to formalize its first strategic plan in 2004. The plan, which seeks to identify, formalize and achieve goals for the next five to 10 years, is intended to be an evolving document
“The surveys are intended to allow the department to to gauge the public’s overall satisfaction with the department and to solicit the public’s input in the department’s future,” Police Chief Edward Googins said in a press release
The anonymous surveys will be randomly distributed starting March 28 by students from St. Joseph’s College, who drafted the documents with a college professor.
There are separate surveys for residents and business owners. Both are also available online at
Questions in the nine-page survey are both multiple-choice and explanatory, ranging from basic information to help the department gauge the demographics of its citizenry to inquiring about specific dealings with the department – from the professionalism of officers to response times.
The survey also asks residents and business leaders about their perception safety in South Portland. It asks people which crimes they feel are the most common and worrisome.
People are also asked whether they would support an increase in taxes to increase compensation for police officers, to add officers and to pay for an additional animal control officer.
The surveys will be analyzed by St. Joesph’s College. The department also plans other outreach events.
People who wish to fill out a survey should do so by April 25 and mail it to: Lt. Frank Clark, South Portland Police Department, 30 Anthoine St., South Portland, ME 04106.

Randy Billings can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 100 or