Police in Front Royal, Virginia, are asking community members to score their interactions with officers starting Friday through an anonymous digital survey.
The department is launching a 120-day pilot program through Guardian Score, a survey designed to measure fairness, professionalism and communication skills that officers display during routine traffic stops, calls for service and any substantial interaction with citizens.
“We are excited to launch the Guardian Score initiative. It will give us feedback on our customer service. This program provides a truly transparent metric on procedural justice,” Chief Kahle Magalis said. “It is not a complaint system and is not intended to determine whether or not a citizen 'likes' an officer, or police in general, but how we are doing with our communication and professionalism.”
As part of the program, all Front Royal police officers will hand out business cards to each person they have an interaction with, including victims, witnesses and offenders of an incident or traffic stop. The cards will have QR codes that can be scanned with any smart phone that will send that person to the digital survey. Each card is linked to the officer handing it out and can only be used one time.
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The anonymous survey will ask the person to rate officers on their professionalism, listening skills, fairness, helpfulness and their ability to explain next steps. Results are delayed five-to-seven days, when police leaders and officers can check their dashboard to see customer service scores, providing another layer of anonymity.
Front Royal is not the first town in Virginia to do this; in April, the Warrenton Police Department launched a similar program, the results of which they’ve found helpful. The overall goal of this program, Warrenton police said, is to better serve their community.
“I have been able to learn that I am good at communicating with people and listening to them,” Warrenton Officer Johnna Sylvester said.