Webinar presenters Amanda Burstein, Matthew Barter, and Dr. Melissa Reuland answered a number of your questions after their presentation, Metric Development and Data Collection with Community Partners. Here are just a few of their responses.
Audience Question: How much does this cost? Is this an expensive program? And where does an agency get the operational funds to be able to provide these capabilities?
Amanda Burstein: That’s a great question. So, currently, the Foundation is working with several funding partners to bring this to the field through Training and Technical Assistance. So currently the program has no cost from our perspective. However, I think your question is twofold. So, internally, what we encourage is that this is not an added element to what you are already working on. So, if there are efforts in your department in a specific direction, or if you’d like to use this framework to provide more structure to existing community engagement efforts that you are already doing. That is the recommendation. So, it’s not necessarily adding more work, but it’s structuring what you’re already doing to be a little bit more goal-oriented in problem-solving.
Audience Question: What unit within your agency took the lead on the CS360 program?
Matthew Barter: That’s a good question. So, the lead came out of the Office of the Chief of Police, so we wanted to make sure that we had buy-in from every division. So, we have six divisions in the police department, a fairly similar structure to a lot of PD. And we wanted to make sure this wasn’t like just the responsibility of one division, wasn’t just detectives or just patrol. It’s everybody’s responsibility to play a part in this. And so that’s why I came out of the chief’s office, and that’s where my position as Chief of Staff was newly created. And this was one of the first things I got onboard doing, and it made a lot of sense as Chief of Staff to lead this. Because, coming out of the Office of the Chief of Police, we do have a kind of reach to the whole program. Not that we’re that big, but still, you want to be able to have touchpoints throughout the department. And that’s what I think is the best model to go with. Because what we saw previously was, we had some division that didn’t think some of these issues were theirs. When, in reality, if it’s a community issue and a community priority I think we all have to take some responsibility for it. No matter if you’re working, from a traffic perspective, or an investigative perspective, or whatever it might be, that there’s some responsibility there. So, it’s important that everyone is in that department.
Audience Question: Do you think the CS360 program will translate to increased public trust and are there metrics to gauge this increase in public trust?
Matthew Barter: So, from our perspective since we rolled this out, we’ve gotten a lot of good feedback. For one, we’re getting some folks, I think one of Melissa’s slides talked about having partners sometimes be the critics of the police. We’ve brought that in, and so wanted to help develop some alternative responses that maybe we didn’t think of before to some of these issues. So that’s been important. And I think that’s helped foster some relationships, which has been helpful, from a number of perspectives. But the other thing, too, is the feedback we’re hearing is, we want to hear more about this. Like, this is great work that the police department is doing. You need to talk about it more. We want to hear about your community collaboration more. And so, I think we’re starting to see some results that kind of the buy-in from the public and the support from the community on it. As for some metrics, you know, I’ll let one of the other team members, I think dive into that. I think that sentiment the assessment, ongoing assessments are going to be important, and I think Amanda and Melissa kind of touch on that.
Amanda Burstein: I’ll jump in. I think that there are a lot of ways that you can gauge your community trust. And, I think, as Matt talked a little bit about the engagements, the level of interest. The questions are kind of qualitative measures of that interest. And when we talk about scanning data, we don’t necessarily mean it always has to be quantifiable data. I think that that is an important distinction, we didn’t really touch on too specifically. I think the sentiment is important, and I think that your partners at the table of your problem-solving team will bring the perspective of their respective groups. So, if you have a homeowner association as part of that process, or if you have behavioral health providers as part of that process, you will start to hear some of that qualitative feedback about your community. But there are also other tools you can use, such as surveys, and looking at your data, in a different way, as I mentioned. If your calls for service start to go up around domestic violence and that’s the issue that you’re tackling, that community trust that is a clear indication of that trust is going up, and your efforts, and the way you’re communicating about your efforts, is getting out to the public. So, it’s a great question. I think it is something that is unique to each agency, and how you approach your community and how you…
Dr. Melissa Reuland: I would just jump in with one other thing. I think it can be very difficult to measure the impact of police activity on our community sentiment. One of the suggestions that we have is to use multiple measures, right? So, what Amanda was talking about, in terms of qualitative data, as well as the survey, as well as focus groups, as well as just getting that sense from your partners about how things are going, if it’s important kind of to do it all. I know that might sound like a lot, but it does help you increase the reliability of the data that you’re getting. So, we offer that, as well, as an approach.
Audience Question: Can you talk a little bit about the technical assistance programs that you’re able to offer with CS360 program?
Amanda Burstein: Sure. So, we currently work with, I want to say about 20 active agencies who probably 30 over the course of the project overall. And we offer anything from just kind of guidance and just advice to how to shift your current approaches to training around data collection, and analytics as it relates to community-facing priority areas. But also, a communications training where we’ve learned a lot about what the community is asking from the department and how the department is communicating those efforts. It’s really important to get that communication piece and strike that balance well. Then we also offer, as we have in Manchester support through the full implementation of the process. So, it’s a spectrum of services, I guess, but certainly willing to speak with anyone who might have some interest in this or this model within their agency.
Audience Question: I checked out your public dashboards on the Manchester website which appear to be daily PDFs. Have you considered utilizing interactive dashboards for public access?
Matthew Barter: Yeah, so we absolutely have. We have a goal to implement those. It’s a funding and technical piece. We also have some grants out to hopefully implement that and bring in the expertise to really develop them from best use or best practices standpoint. So that it’s something that I develop them and by no means the BI experts. But it’s something that I can do with tools that we already have that, frankly, were free. So hopefully, we’re hoping to gain some funding to add to that. And that’s just going to add to the transparency, and I think, add to folks being able to kind of drill down on issues themselves. And gain more information about the scope of what we’re seeing for calls and things like that, and crime issues. So, yeah, that’s definitely on the road map. It’s just getting there, and hopefully getting the funding to do so.
Audience Question: Can you give an example of when the collaborative struggled to make a decision? You mentioned that everyone is equal, but what about when people don’t agree? Does one group have the final say?
Matthew Barter: Yeah, so I guess we didn’t go over the processes. The problem-solving team, we’re already starting to develop the type of interventions that we want to put out there, the strategy we want to move forward with. What we do is we report that back up to the advisory team, and so the advisory team kind of works through. Through what direction, you know, if we’re going to implement those things or not. That’s how we’re approaching it. And certainly, Amanda, Melissa, jump in if there are other ways, but that’s the way we are approaching it, and that advisory team will make that decision as a collaborative.
Dr. Melissa Reuland: Just to give back on that. So, again, this model is something that you can adapt for your particular location on jurisdiction and community. So, in Manchester, they want to tackle several different types of problems. So, we set up that advisory team to kind of oversee all of the different initiatives, so ultimately the tackling. But in some jurisdictions, just establishing a problem-solving team itself is something that is very specific for them, and that’s just the level at which they want to be operating. So, I would say that it is possible to get those different voices represented in your solutions, or at least within the metrics that you are using to measure your outcomes. You know, we’re not saying that one metric, you boil it down to one metric, that will gauge your success. So that’s one way to incorporate all the voices at the table, to make sure that people are being heard, and that their needs are being met. But also, that their goal is being represented and the overarching goal as well, so that’s another way to do it. There’s also the opportunity to kind of identify a neutral facilitator, to come in, whether it’s from the department or from an external group, just to kind of facilitate that interaction a little bit more, or to bring an external perspective into the group. So, you know, we do offer peer-to-peer opportunities with this program where you can talk through some of your specific challenges with some other agency that might have similar problems and experience similar —-. So, it is difficult, but the whole point is to get that consensus and to move forward with consensus so that everyone understands the perspectives of each of the stakeholders at the table.
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