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Hendricks County police ask residents to give feedback on police accountability through online survey

Hendricks County police ask residents to give feedback on police accountability through online survey

By Lindsay Doty

How safe do you feel in your community?  How might our police agencies and leadership be more transparent with the communities they serve?
Those are just a few of the questions in an ongoing community-police accountability survey in Hendricks County. Local law enforcement agencies have teamed up with the Hendricks County Alliance for Diversity (HCAD), a nonprofit organization that works to promote and celebrate diversity in the county, to get feedback on police accountability and transparency in the county.
The anonymous online survey includes policing questions, along with background information on the person’s age, race, and income.
The survey started back in August and has had more than 300 responses so far.
“Hopefully it will give us an idea of what our citizens are thinking about and what is important to them as it relates to some of the national discussion.  It can serve as another opportunity for continuing to communicate with the people we serve,” said Hendricks County Sheriff Brett Clark.
This summer,  Sheriff Clark and local police chiefs, along with community leaders, joined the HCAD to start a discussion about race relations and county-wide initiatives.  They came up with a survey as a way to gather feedback on sensitive race issues.
Plainfield Police Chief Jarad McKee calls the survey one of many ways to engage the diverse community of Hendricks County.

“Once we receive this information we plan to take this as well as all the other feedback we have received and start looking at ways we can improve.  This can include policy and procedure review to restructuring our community engagement to make sure everyone feels inclusive,” said Chief McKee.

“Our goal is and will continue to be building trust, unity, accountability, and transparency with everyone who lives, works, and visits Hendricks County.”

Police plan to work with the diversity team to discuss and digest the results.

“The biggest issue to understand is that perspectives are different when you are a racial minority in this community,” explains Natalie Brake, co-chair of the Hendricks County Alliance for Diversity.

Brake says the survey is more about what police need to know, than what they need to do. She hopes residents will give honest answers so their voices can be heard.

“It’s the community and police accountability. It’s everybody.”

The survey will be open throughout mid-September and can be taken here. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2YDB6SQ

The HCAD has been working to bring racial discussions to light in other ways. This week, the group will start sharing personal stories from four black Hendricks County residents as part of the group’s  #raisingblackvoices initiative.

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