OSU Police Department survey shows improvements
Tuesday, September 28, 2021
In the latest Oklahoma State University Police Department’s Customer Feedback Survey, more people reported feeling safe on the Stillwater campus.
Approximately 96.6% of respondents said they “feel safe on the Stillwater campus during the day,” an increase from the 2019 survey. Those who reported feeling safe on campus at night also rose slightly from 65% to 68%. This is the second survey to garner large-scale feedback from the Stillwater and Tulsa campus communities on safety, security and community needs.
Chief Leon Jones believes the feedback is essential to tailoring the department’s service to meet the needs of each campus.
“Once again, I’m grateful for the feedback we received,” he said. “It allows us to give our community what they want from their police agency. We are on a path of continuous improvement and want to provide the best police services possible.”
The department enlisted the help of University Assessment and Testing to design and administer the survey. From design to data analysis and dissemination, the survey process followed a scientific protocol. More than 4,000 people responded to the survey out of more than 27,500 students, faculty and staff.
Some of the highest marks were given to how officers present themselves. Approximately 93% agreed or strongly agreed that members of the OSUPD were respectful and presented themselves appropriately in demeanor, and 96% believe officers present themselves properly in appearance.
The department scored high, with marks above 80% for strongly agree or agree for the visibility of its vehicle patrol (88.6%), professionalism (85.5%), communicating safety issues with the community well (83.8%) and responding to incidents (81.5%).
Although most of the community believes the OSUPD is visible on vehicle patrol, 11-12% said officers are not visible on foot or bicycle patrol. Another 9.6% do not feel safe on campus at night.
Questions of discrimination, diversity and marginalized groups were also included. For those dealing specifically with the department, respondents agreed or strongly agreed 73% or more that the OSU PD would do what is right if a concern was raised about discrimination, is prepared to work effectively with a culturally diverse community and that the department understands diversity is critical to future success.
The survey also included questions about the Rave Guardian safety app, available to all students, faculty and staff. Of the respondents, 81.4% found the app to be somewhat useful or more with 14.3% finding the app to be “extremely useful.” The most utilized features are “Where’s the Bus,” and requesting a SafeWalk.
Approximately 79.5% of respondents were aware they could request a SafeWalk, a program in which a public safety officer is available to walk someone across campus from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. That’s down from 82% in 2021. Slightly more than half knew the OSUPD would jump-start a vehicle. Just under half knew officers would unlock a vehicle or open an office. More than 60% knew about OSUPD’s active shooter and alcohol education and safety crime prevention programs. Around 50% knew about the R.A.D (Rape Aggression Defense) program and the workplace violence prevention program. Just under 40% knew about the program of “crime prevention through environmental design.”
“Seeking feedback from the OSU community allows us to make appropriate adjustments to our policing efforts to ensure they are inclusive and relevant,” Capt. Colt Chandler said. “We appreciate everyone who took the time to share their thoughts.”
The OSUPD will use the survey results as a tool for making decisions. The department plans to repeat the survey every two to three years.