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May 17, 2022

Police Department Asks Citizens to Rate Officers

In today’s world, you can leave a Yelp review for the majority of businesses in America– telling not only future customers, but also the business about your experience. The city of Warrenton, a small town in Virginia located just outside of Washington D.C. has decided to give its citizens the same ability, only they have asked the citizens to rate their contacts with law enforcement.

The new program “Guardian Score,” will allow citizens to submit an anonymous rating about their interaction with the police immediately after an incident. The leadership in Warrenton hopes Guardian Score will prompt officers to be more open and take the time to communicate with the public.

The ratings and feedback each officer will receive will be visible not only to the officer but also to their peers, supervisors, commanders, and the public. Warrenton Police Chief Mike Kochis released a statement saying, “The program provides a great way for us to thoroughly measure our officers’ effectiveness and impact on the community.” Chief Kochis went on to say, “during the initial 90-day pilot program, the police department recorded mostly positive responses and positive interactions. In reviewing body cam footage, it is clear that while our officers routinely treat the public with professionalism and compassion, knowing their interaction would be evaluated has definitely made them focus on listening and explaining next steps.”

The way the program works is a responding officer provides the citizen they encountered a physical card, which contains a QR code that links them to Guardian Score where they are able to submit their feedback on the interaction and rate the officers.

According to the Guardian Score website, the 100% anonymous survey asks questions that are objective and based on procedural justice principles, and is not for measuring if the person “liked” or “disliked” the officer. The survey asks: did the officer explain the reason for the interaction, how well the citizen felt the officer listened to their needs, how fair they believe the officer was handling the situation, overall how professional the citizen felt the officer was, and if the officer explained what the next steps were, or what to do following the police encounter. There is also a comment box for citizens wishing to leave additional comments in their own words. It is unclear how many words or characters the comment box allows just by looking at the website.

With the world we live in calling for more transparency and greater strides in community-oriented policing do you think the Guardian Score is the way to go? Let us know in the comments below or tell us what you might do differently.

The link below is to the Guardian Score website where you can explore all the features as well as request a demo.