Fairfax County Police Department launches new survey to measure public trust

Fear, crime, and a shortage of officers are the top reasons Fairfax County police want to hear from you.

They're sending out a community survey to help improve the department.

The survey will ask about residents' concerns and what they are most worried about in their neighborhoods. 

It takes two minutes, is available in eight languages, is anonymous, and can be completed on your cell phone. 

The Fairfax County Police Department says residents across the county will ultimately decide what categories and topics need to be tracked and reviewed.


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"This effort represents a belief that we can only improve what is measured," said Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis at a press conference Monday. "With this survey, we will collect better data and be more responsive to the concerns and issues of our residents, in addition to our existing focus on reducing crime and disorder."

Community members who match demographic and geographic targets will be randomly invited to participate in the survey.

The department says that the data will be collated, analyzed, and eventually posted in real-time on a portal the community can access.

In May, a local task force, known as the Police Reform Matrix Working Group, put together a Proposed Action Plan for the department after receiving 300 suggestions from citizens about how the agency can improve.

Some of the recommendations include reevaluating practices, such as use-of-force policies, how to identify criminal behavior versus a mental health crisis and more transparency when it comes to collecting and reporting data involving interactions with officers. Residents also suggested the civilian review panel have more authority and the ability to independently investigate and hold law enforcement accountable.