We’ve all had experiences with service providers that varies from really great to really poor. I know I have. I am particularly sensitive to this issue because I am contacted on occasion by people who want me to know their bad experience with an Auburn Hills Police employee or their really great experience. Fortunately it is frequently the latter and only occasionally the former.
Here at the AHPD we pride ourselves on doing a great job. And we don’t want that to be just a perception, not based in reality, so we try to verify our reality. We send out 100 cards each month to a randomly selected sample of people with whom we’ve had contact during the prior month. The card asks 8 questions about the service delivery of our staff. I see every card that is returned. We get about 25 cards returned each month — I have 20 for July as of today. When I look at the cards I follow-up on any that have a negative comment. We follow-up on those negative comments in an effort to figure out if we could do more to be helpful . Sometimes we can’t, but the cards do give people an opportunity to vent a little. Given the nature of our work, not everyone will be satisfied with the outcomes. Sometimes people are surprised when I call them myself to ask questions or want to explain why we did what we did.
The most incredible thing about these cards to me is that we’ve been doing it for more than 17 YEARS. I can’t claim any credit. I came here 17 years ago to be the deputy chief of police and they were doing it then. I did my best to keep a good thing going.
We receive vastly more compliments than we do complaints on these cards. I try to bring the card to the attention of the person’s supervisor when it is good as well as when we need to improve. Our personnel often don’t get to hear what people think of their work so we want to give them some feedback. It also shows us patterns of behavior with our employees and shows us processes we might need to improve because they are just not working for people.
And it isn’t just about the sworn staff. They frequently tell us about any person in the chain of contact from the dispatcher who answered their call, to the officers on the scene and the clerk who got them their copy of a report. All of these points of contact are important to us. We want to know that we are a positive force in the community–and that your contact with us served your needs and you were treated fairly and respectfully.
Just another aspect of what we are trying to achieve in this community.