A Landscape Report on Measuring Community Sentiment and Perceptions of Safety and Law Enforcement Performance


Published June 2023

Measuring community perceptions and opinions of law enforcement can help agencies, government officials, and the communities they serve understand the community’s feelings and perceptions about law enforcement and safety, which may be influenced by both crime and non-crime-related issues. Having this information enables agencies to learn, evaluate effectiveness of interventions, refine their policies and practices, and improve their performance, while building trust through increased transparency and responsiveness to public concerns. The objectives of this landscape report are to provide foundational principles on survey methodology, highlight three different approaches that can be used to measure community perceptions (general population surveys, post-contact surveys, and leveraging of data from existing sources), and describe novel modes for carrying out the various approaches.

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