Survey aims to streamline police department

HINESBURGThe Hinesburg Community Police Department, in a coordinated effort with the Towns of Hinesburg and Meredith, New Hampshirebased organization Municipal Resources, Inc., is working toward the development of a strategic plan. According to Hinesburg Town Administrator Jeanne Wilson, the first step towards developing the plan is the completion of a townwide survey.

The community survey is designed to provide a better understanding of the perceptions and wishes of the Hinesburg citizens about policing the community, said Wilson.

The purpose of the project as a whole is to create a five-year strategic plan for the HCPD. The Hinesburg selectboard, municipal staff, members of the police department and the community are all working together on the project.

The results of the survey will be used in the development of the five-year plan, the goal of which is to enhance the policing methods of the Hinesburg Community Police Department by focusing on the community's desires, and also to direct the department "as the agency strives to provide the most responsive, cost-efficient and compassionate police services possible," according to the survey.

In addition to the survey, a number of interviews will be conducted with police-department personnel.

Basically, the interviews will be with police officers to get their feedback individually and find out what their needs are, said Wilson.

After the survey and interviews are completed, a number of focus groups will be formed to establish a more concrete layout for the department's future.

Three to four different focus groups will be formed, said Wilson. We will invite participants from the community from all demographics. The focus groups will see what potential further needs and information is required beyond the superficial information provided by the survey.

Finally, a community forum will be held during which community members can share specific ideas and voice further concerns, using the survey as a basis to streamline the meeting. According to Wilson, one of the survey's other purposes will be to lend structure to the forum and provide a framework for the future.

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