The survey has been up since August and will remain up until mid-September. The main focus is on police accountability and police transparency. So far, more than 300 hundred people have filled it out so far. Survey answers are submitted anonymously.
“The point of putting together this survey is so that we could reach the diverse people of all agencies in Hendricks County,” said Chief Jared McKee with the Plainfield Police Department. “So, it’s not just focused on Plainfield or Avon, or anywhere else – it’s all of Hendricks County and wanting to know what their needs are from us as police agencies. So, we’re really looking for honest answers to how they feel we’re serving them and how we can serve them better.”
The survey came out of one of two county action teams with the Alliance for Diversity. The Alliance says the teams were created after discussions about how people of different races or backgrounds were being treated differently.
“This group is trying to do is seek ways that together our community and our police officers can build unity, can build trust – we want to build accountability between both of them knowing that our police force has to take our community as it is,” said Natalie Brake, co-chair of the Hendricks County Alliance for Diversity. “So, what we give them is what they get, so we need to work on what we’re giving our police officers but also what’s the accountability that we should expect from them and what’s the transparency that we should expect from them.”
Chief McKee feels the survey is an opportunity for people to let them and other law enforcement agencies know how they really feel. From there, Plainfield PD will use the answers to move forward in a positive direction.
“We will take all this information and really start to digest it and look at what people are saying,” McKee explained. “I can only meet with so many people every day, so we’re really hoping to grab the larger community and start finding out what they’re looking for; what they’re looking for in their public servants, which are us the police department and with that we can start looking at policies and procedures and how we serve the community.”
Brake pointed out all of the Hendricks County police chiefs and the sheriff wanted this survey to be put out and they want the community to answer the survey honestly.
“We know that this is a topic that many people are talking about all over our country,” she explained. “But we want to know what it means to you in Avon, in Danville, in the streets and in the back-streets of Hendricks County – where are you feeling safe, where are you not? What’s happening and what can we do about it?”
“This is a place to be honest,” Brake goes on to say. “We need that honesty in order to decide what we can do to make sure that everyone in Hendricks County feels like they can be part of our community.”
The Alliance mentions the survey is just step one of the process to create positive change in Hendricks County. After the survey is closed, the next step will be to review the answers.
“These are the heads of our different police departments – these are local officers, these are community leaders, these are residents from the different communities that have stepped up to this group together,” explained Brake. “They’re gonna take a look at what comes from the survey – the good, the ugly and the otherwise – and decide what does that mean for our community. We need to do something, how can we move forward together.”
Chief McKee agrees with that statement.
“Many times people think that we’re going to use this adversely but honestly, this is all of the police chiefs and sheriffs of Hendricks County that have come together,” said McKee. “[We] agreed to this survey and have agreed to sit down and truly look at it, so we can look at policy and the way that we interact with the public every single day. So, if you want to make change, this is how you make change is to fill out this survey and truly speak to the people who can make the changes.”
If you’d like to take part in the survey, click here.