Support Salvation Army Wildfire Relief

Police Plan Community Survey to Improve Service

OLD LYCOMING TOWNSHIP -- Old Lycoming Township Police want answers from the communities they serve in the Williamsport area, but it won't be police officers asking the questions. Instead, it will be college students knocking on doors.

They're here to protect and to serve, but do you know who your police officers are?

"Even as somebody who is a law abiding citizen I am uneasy speaking to police officers, like if I don't have to then I don't want to," said Kevin Seibert.

"We'd like to see the communication lines open," said Chief Joseph Hope.

Police officers in Old Lycoming Township want to know their community, but they also want to better serve them. It's why, starting next week, hundreds of people who live in Old Lycoming, Hepburn, and Lycoming Townships will be asked to take part in a survey for the police department.

People living in Old Lycoming Township should not expect an officer to be at their door with a survey in hopes of getting a more honest answer, they are having students as the questions.

"They will be clearly wearing Lycoming College, that's kind of our uniform,” said Dr. Justin Medina.

After lower than expected feedback from an online survey over a year ago, the Old Lycoming Township Police Department reached out to Lycoming College for help.

"They said, 'We want to do better. We want to know what our community thinks about us. What we can do better? We want to know what we can do to improve relationships with the community,'” said Dr. Medina.

Dr. Medina helped create a new survey for the police department. Starting next Monday, a small group of his criminal justice students will go door to door with the survey.

"If we are having shortfalls somewhere, how we could focus on those areas and be a better police department,” said Hope.

"I think it's good to always check in and see what you can do better because nothing is perfect and it's good to try and improve things as best you can,” said Seibert.

The students from Lycoming College will be knocking on doors for about a month. They're expected to go to about 650 homes in the three townships covered by the Old Lycoming Township Police Department.