The Daily Gamecock

In our opinion: Columbia Police, USC join forces for good

After a crime wave that rocked the area last year, it’s no secret local residents are bound to have an opinion about the city’s police force one way or another. That’s why with the help of USC and a grant, the Columbia Police Department will be gauging what exactly citizens feel about crime and the police department itself.

Through the Smart Policing Initiative, the Police Department was able to send out 4,000 surveys in neighborhoods located throughout the city. It’s an unprecedented opportunity that couldn’t have come at a better time. Hopefully, this data will allow the Police Department and USC to know what truly matters in the eyes of the people and will hopefully align both citizens and police officers together in the fight for justice.

For those who don’t live in the neighborhoods targeted for the surveys, the police department will be offering all Columbia residents the chance to express their opinions in an online survey. This will allow a more adequate representation of the city’s population and we couldn’t agree more.

By offering the city’s residents a chance to complete the survey on their own terms — instead of having to wait for the survey to come via snail mail and subsequently having to mail it back — the police department is all but guaranteeing that more people, especially technology-addicted college students, will consider taking the survey.

At the end of the day however, simply surveying city residents about their fears and hopes for the future won’t do any good to help the police department or the city that they have sworn to protect. Once the data has been crunched and analyzed, we hope the department will continue to reach out to its citizens in order to make Columbia a safer place for all.