Survey would gauge public perception of the RPD

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Rochester Mayor Tom Richards wants to hire a group out of Cornell University to study public perception of the Rochester Police Department. The legislation to pay $15,000 to Survey Research Institute for the project will be considered by City Council next month.

The legislation's wording is rather vague, saying that SRI will work with the RPD "to develop a survey instrument that will assess community opinions and perceptions of aspects of RPD services identified as areas of concern."

It also says that the survey will be administered to "a random sample of city residents and business owners representative of the ethic, socioeconomic, and geographic distribution of the population."

Richards has said that the city would study policing, specifically whether or not Rochester should go back to the old seven-section model instead of the east-west model the RPD is using now. Some people say that eliminating the old model has caused an erosion of police-community relations — and the reorganization has become an election issue this year. Richards has previously defended the reorganization.

It's unclear if the proposal to hire SRI is the study that Richards referred to, but I don't think so. This sounds like something different.

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