TribLIVE

| News

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Department, union encourage Pittsburgh police officers to be honest in survey

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.
By Margaret Harding
Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
 

Pittsburgh police officers should be “brutally honest” in an online job satisfaction survey that is part of a national study, a union leader said on Wednesday.

“Maybe going forward, the next administration will be able to more accurately correct the problems with the department,” said Sgt. Mike LaPorte, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Fort Pitt Lodge No. 1.

Acting police Chief Regina McDonald said she wanted the department to participate in the National Police Research Platform study, despite a federal investigation that led to the indictment of former police Chief Nate Harper and has required police officials to testify before a grand jury.

“We expected there to be some negativity,” McDonald said. “But it's important we hear from the officers. We're not afraid of what the findings will be. Whatever the results are will be a benefit to the next administration.”

The online survey is voluntary and anonymous, and asks officers and civilian employees questions about burnout, job satisfaction, stress, accountability, work-life balance, leadership and other issues. The results will go to researchers through the Center for Research in Law and Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

“It really gives the officers a forum to anonymously share their concerns,” McDonald said. “And then we can see what we're doing right and what we need to improve on.”

Professor Dennis Rosenbaum, director of the center in Chicago, said Pittsburgh is among 100 departments nationwide involved in the study.

“We know about crime statistics and clearance rates, but we don't know how organizations function and what makes for organizational excellence,” Rosenbaum said.

McDonald said officers began taking the survey on Tuesday, and it will be available until mid-November. She expects to have the results early next year.

Another part of the study involves surveying people who encounter officers during traffic incidents and criminal investigations, McDonald said.

“We'll identify people who had an interaction with police, and we will forward the survey to them,” she said. “It will give us a good read on how the community feels about the police response and how the interaction went.”

LaPorte said he urged officers to participate in the study through a union newsletter.

“I told them to be brutally honest,” he said.

Margaret Harding is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-8519 or mharding@tribweb.com.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Allegheny

  1. Risks don’t get any better as online dating prospers
  2. Newsmaker: John Malone
  3. Two Brentwood council members change minds and don’t resign, council approves the third resignation
  4. Board members bring business attitude to nonprofit August Wilson
  5. Animal welfare groups see opportunities in dialogue about Vick signing
  6. 3 from Allegheny County charged with Medicaid fraud
  7. Man critical after being shot in Pittsburgh’s Knoxville neighborhood
  8. Penn Hills fire displaces 10
  9. Port Authority’s plan for car-free communities slow to bear fruit
  10. Solarize Allegheny powers up with more communities
  11. Shaler man charged with homicide, abuse of corpse in McKeesport woman’s death