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Riverhead residents asked to complete survey about satisfaction, concerns with police

Riverhead Town officials are urging people to fill out a Law Enforcement Advisory Panel survey on their views about the Riverhead Police Department, according to Supervisor Yvette Aguiar.

The Town Board recently appointed LEAP in order to comply with an executive order issued by Governor Andrew Cuomo requiring all municipalities to adopt a policing plan by April 1, 2021, by creating a task force of various law-enforcement, government and community members to examine police reform.

The Executive Order mandated police agencies to examine the perceptions of the communities concerning policing and policies, and town officials say that in an effort to respond to the Governor’s order, this survey “was created to assist and strengthen the trust between the Riverhead Police Department and our community.”

“We are gathering your thoughts today in an effort to better serve the Riverhead community in the future,” the survey says. “We appreciate you taking 5 minutes to assist in this effort.  Your responses will remain confidential.”

The survey, released Thursday in English and Spanish, can be found on the home page of the Riverhead Town web site

The survey will remain on the town’s site until Dec. 20. 

It contains 27 questions, four of which are labeled optional, as they seek information about the respondent’s gender, age bracket, ethnicity and contact information if the respondent would like to be contacted regarding the survey. 

The other questions ask what hamlet respondents live in, followed by questions asking if the person agrees or disagrees with statements about crime in their neighborhood, their relationship with the police department in their neighborhood, their most recent contact with police, the reason for that contact and how it was handled. 

The survey also asks respondents to rate their level of satisfaction with police on their most recent contact, and were they satisfied with the department’s language assistance, if needed.

Residents are also asked to rank issues from 1 to 7, in terms of most importance. The choices include drugs, shootings and violence, police visibility and others — and it asks people if they feel they have been a victim of racial profiling by Riverhead police. 

Southampton Town police have recently issued a similar online survey. 

“We always strive to have the best relationship between our community and our police professionals,” Ms. Aguiar said in a statement. “This survey is the first step to help us achieve that goal.”