The NYPD on Wednesday announced a new text-based survey system designed to...

The NYPD on Wednesday announced a new text-based survey system designed to get feedback on the department's performance handling crime complaints from citizens.   Credit: Sipa USA via AP/J Lamparski / SOPA Images

The NYPD on Wednesday announced a new text message survey system aimed at getting feedback on its performance when handling crime complaints from the public.

Beginning in two precincts, the 25th in East Harlem and the 113th in Jamaica, the NYPD will be sending text messages to people who have filed criminal complaints with police in the previous 30 days. The department said it won't send the survey to complainants in certain crimes like domestic violence and homicide to protect their identities.

"With these new text services, we’ll be increasing our ability to gather New Yorkers’ feedback so we can identify service gaps and improve customer service which — in our view — is not just common sense but a continuing top priority," NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said in a statement.

After the initial test period with the two precincts, the department hopes to expand it citywide later this fall, Chief of Patrol Juanita Holmes said during a news briefing Wednesday with Mayor Bill de Blasio. Holmes said special out reach will be made to the homeless and those either without access to texting or not tech-savvy.

De Blasio said the text-based system is a way to let complainants know that "if you go asking for [police] help, if you need something, you are going to be treated with respect and dignity and understanding, good communication, get your answers to your questions — we need to make sure that happens every time. This is a way of empowering the people of this city, to give their feedback for all the supervisors to make their adjustments.

The texting service is being implemented with the help of the New York City Police Foundation, a nonprofit that provides financial support to the NYPD.

Through the new service, the NYPD hopes for contact with people who have filed complaints dealing with lost property as well as petit larceny, hate crimes, assault and other offenses, according to the department. Complainants will be asked to give feedback on the service they received from the department, police officials said.

It's part of an effort to build on a wider department initiative dubbed "How Did We Do?" The initiative, launched in September 2020, included posters and palm cards at each precinct linked to a web-based service-focused survey. A few years ago the NYPD used a program called the "Sentiment Meter," which relied on smartphone surveys to assess more general public attitudes about the police and crime. Some NYPD commanders were unsure how to use the smartphone survey results and the program was disbanded in 2020.

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