St. Paul's cops want you to tell them how they're doing

The department had a little bad PR earlier this month.

At a time when the relationship between police and civilians is under the microscope more than ever, St. Paul police wants the public to review its performance.

The police department has launched a community survey asking people to rank their interactions with St. Paul police officers, posing six questions about the officer's conduct and their experience dealing with them.

The survey, which you can take here, has been introduced so the department can get an idea of what it's doing well, where it can improve, and where people have concerns about interactions with officers.

At the end of the six question survey, residents have the chance to provide more details and context about their experience, whether positive or negative.

The survey comes after the department recently came in for some bad PR, when a citizen videotaped an officer threatening to "slap him down" before trying to punch him.

"Maintaining community trust is the cornerstone of everything we do," Chief Todd Axtell said in a news release. “Our officers and civilian employees work incredibly hard to deliver trusted service with respect, but we can’t rest on our laurels."

As well as online, the survey can be found in paper form at the department's three district offices. It can also be translated in the online version using the "translate" button at the bottom of the St. Paul Police Department's website.

The nation's view on policing

The past few years has seen a spotlight shone on policing in the U.S., with their handling in particular of black civilians sparking a national conversation about how officers should approach their jobs.

A recent Pew Research Center report found 60 percent of Americans see the deaths of black people during encounters with police to be a "sign of a broader problem" within policing, but only 31 percent of police officers feel the same way.

White Americans are on the whole positive about the police, with 68 percent telling a Cato Institute study they have a favorable view of officers.

However, only 40 percent of African Americans said the same, with these percentages little changed since the 1970s.

And confidence in the police is greater among older citizens, with 82 percent of over-65s and 70 percent of 45-64 year olds having a favorable view of police. This drops to 54 percent for those aged 44 and younger.

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