Police officers in Warrenton, Virginia are set to be graded on their performance by the residents of the town they work in.
The program is called the Guardian Program, will allow citizens to submit an anonymous rating of police immediately after an incident via a QR code. The anonymous reviews will be visible to officers, their peers, supervisors, and the general public, and Warrington hopes that the feedback system will encourage police officers to be more communicative and open with the public.
“This program provides a great way for us to thoroughly measure our officers’ effectiveness and impact on the community,” said Chief Mike Kochis with Town of Warrenton Police Department, in the news release.
During the initial 90-day pilot of the program, the police department recorded mostly positive responses and positive interactions,” said Kochis. “In reviewing the body cam footage, it’s clear that while our officers routinely treat the public with professionalism and compassion, knowing their interaction would be evaluated has definitely made them focus on explaining ‘why,’ listening and explaining next steps.”
The Guardian Code is funded by the PATH Foundation – a self-described “philanthropic charitable foundation that supports Fauquier, Rappahannock and Culpeper counties.” According to the FAQ on the program’s website, the goal is to help build trust between the officers and the people they’re there to protect.
“Guardian Score wants to help police departments improve legitimacy with their community, while also providing new and meaningful performance metrics for police performance evaluations. Police Officers have a tough and important job and they can only succeed with the support of their community. Guardian Score helps police departments improve community relations by providing data on their customer service.”
What do you think about this program? Would you feel better knowing you could rate your interactions with the officer, or do you feel this program will make it harder for them to do their jobs?