Like many other police departments nationwide, The Decatur Police Department (DPD) faces the ongoing challenge of addressing residents’ needs and concerns with limited resources. The lack of accurate insights into the community’s shifting priorities can hinder their ability to make informed decisions that maintain and increase residents’ sense of safety over time.
In the case of Decatur, IL, the DPD deployed a Zencity Blockwise survey to assess priorities in real time. Over 3 months, a digital ad survey campaign collected 420 responses from a representative sample of Decatur residents. Results indicated that a main concern is around issues of streets and traffic control, specifically reckless driving and police presence. And so, the DPD decided to take immediate action to address these issues head-on.
Over the following months, the department implemented initiatives that included higher traffic enforcement and a communication plan detailing the consequences of speeding beyond just breaking the law. Using Zencity Organic, the DPD could also evaluate the campaign's effectiveness and learn which channels were getting the message across.
In the following months, Zencity’s Blockwise surveys continued to run, capturing the shifting priorities of residents and the impact of the implemented initiatives and accompanying communication strategy. As the graph below exemplifies, the next quarterly report provided by Zencity indicated that in a quarter, concerns around “Streets and Traffic” dropped by 12%. This served as a testament to the success of the DPD in addressing the issue and communicating about it with the public positively and proactively.
The integration of Zencity's solution had a transformative impact on the Decatur Police Department's operations and resource allocation. By understanding specific concerns, such as traffic and reckless driving, DPD could focus their efforts where they were most needed, maximizing their impact.
“DPD was quick to review and analyze the survey results provided by Zencity. Once the department learned that our community members' main topic of concern was traffic safety, we made a determined effort to address that concern. By just increasing our speed enforcement efforts, we were able to see an immediate reduction in our communities concern in the ‘Street and Traffic’ category.” – Brad Allen, Deputy Chief of Police, Decatur Police Department