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Telephone Report Unit User's Survey (From Comprehensive Evaluation of Phase One of the Virginia Beach, Virginia Police Departments' Integrated Criminal Apprehension Program, P 71-88, 1980, by Wolfgang Pindur et al - See NCJ-73102)

NCJ Number
W Pindur; A Nadkarni; J Jones
Date Published
18 pages
A survey of citizens who requested service from the Virginia Beach, Va., Police Department was conducted during May 1979, to evaluate citizen satisfaction with the department's Telephone Reporting Unit (TRU).
The survey was based on a random sample of 141 offense reports taken by the TRU between February 15, 1979, and March 15, 1979. The survey was designed to identify citizen problems in contacting the dispatch unit and their satisfactions with dispatchers' attitudes and actions, problems related to taking reports by telephone, citizens' expectations and satisfaction with followup actions, and citizen rating of the department in general. Two interviewers asked each person 28 questions. Results showed that few citizens had problems contacting the TRU. Citizens considered the unit's staff to be polite, helpful, and respectful. A total of 85 percent of the citizens were satisfied with having their reports taken by telephone. Almost two-thirds expected followup action on their report. About one-third reported that a followup was made. Users of the TRU rated the Virginia Beach Police Department highly. Their opinion of the police remained the same after contact with the TRU. It is recommended that a report be taken from every citizen who has an appropriate request for service. In addition, further publicity about the role of telephone reporting is needed to reduce the number of citizens who feel uncomfortable about making a report by telephone. Finally, followup of telephone reports improved to reduce the discrepancy between the numbers expecting followup and the numbers receiving it. Tables are included. This survey was part of a larger evaluation of the department's Integrated Criminal Apprehension Program, which was designed to upgrade the patrol system, focus efforts on serious crimes and crimes committed by serious offenders, and increase citizen satisfaction with the department. (Author abstract modified)