Frequently Asked Questions

Our FAQ is where you find answers to the most common questions.

General Questions

Open Policing is a new feedback system designed collaboratively by community members and law enforcement professionals who seek to improve transparency, trust, and community support in policing. Most law enforcement agencies rarely conduct surveys to learn how they can better serve their communities. Because surveys are essentially a measure of public sentiment at a snapshot in time, they can become outdated shortly after they are completed. Open Policing is designed to be ongoing in order to foster continuous improvement for agencies committed to better serving their communities.

Many law enforcement agencies have experienced tremendous challenges with building transparency and trust in their communities. Some communities have experienced a general decrease in public support and trust in their local law enforcement agency. Building safe communities is difficult and often dangerous work. For those sworn to protect and serve, community support is critical to law enforcement. The Task Force on 21st Century Policing wrote: “Law enforcement agencies should track the level of trust in police by their communities just as they measure changes in crime. Annual community surveys, ideally standardized across jurisdictions and with accepted sampling protocols, can measure how policing in that community affects public trust.”

Yes. Your feedback is always anonymous. Open Policing does not show your personal identity so your name and email address is always hidden.

Your feedback is private by default. This means that only the agency can see your comments. Others in the community cannot see your comments. You can, however, choose to make your comments public in the Feedback Wizard, which means others will see your feedback.

Your demographic information is not required. It is only useful to help agencies improve the services and support they provide in various communities.

Yes. Absolutely. The Open Policing platform is available to everyone interested in providing constructive feedback in order to create a more engaged and safer community.

Our team has implemented features to allow content to be tagged as inappropriate, abusive, or in violation of our Terms of Service. Content marked as such will not be displayed publicly and could get deleted. Please refer to our Terms of Service link in the footer of our website.

Open Policing stores all application data in a state-of-the-art data center with industry standard security. Trusted access to private data is limited only to Open Policing employees who require access to perform site administrative functions.

“Agency Claimed” designation indicates the city and its local law enforcement agency has adopted the use of the Open Policing platform to intentionally engage the community, receive feedback, and build trust.

“Agency Unclaimed” designation indicates members of the community have requested the use of our platform to provide feedback on law enforcement encounters, but the local law enforcement agency has not yet adopted its use.

If you represent an agency and would like to claim your agency page then fill out the agency sign up form.

Law Enforcement

During the beta phase, Open Policing was implemented in a small agency. During this time, the agency reported a 35% decrease in complaints.

Yes, our Pro Plan allows each agency to create a set of customized questions for their community members?

Yes, our Pro Plan allows agencies to create groups to track feedback. Groups can consist of Precincts, Districts, and Teams.

It is important to define feedback and the aim here. Feedback calls for reactions people have to the concerned officer’s actions and demeanor and may include ‘micro-messaging” that the concerned officer is not aware she/he is broadcasting.

Feedback is most effective when it is viewed over time and collected from several people. Then common points, patterns and trends can show up and individual feedback can be sorted for an implied bias and an assessment regarding its usefulness . This collective feedback can then be used in a coaching approach to explore in more detail what happened and support the concerned officer’s awareness to engage more effectively on the street.

Open Policing is intended to be a coaching tool to create awareness about the quality of a police contact. It is not intended to be in the investigative process for complaints. If a complaint of misconduct is alleged, the course of action follows the traditional track of an internal investigation. It is important to distinguish these two different processes.

While few police contacts result in an arrest, it is important to understand aspects of the arrest from a Procedural Justice perspective. The question is, in the course of the arrest did the arrestee feel respected and treated fairly.

Yes, everyone with whom the agency engages should be invited to provide feedback.

Yes, everyone should be invited to provide feedback.

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