NOTE: You can find a link to the Police Experience Survey at the conclusion of this story or at https://sbcnaacp.org/
By Clyde Hughes | AC JosepH Media
BURLINGTON – The three branches of the NAACP that are based in Burlington County are collaborating for a groundbreaking Police Experience Survey to document police interactions with people of color and others.
The Southern Burlington County, Willingboro & Vicinity and Greater Delaware Valley branches of the NAACP said in a statement that the survey, which can be taken anonymously, will provide an up-to-date account of the relations between residents and their police departments.
“The survey addresses representation, funding for emergency alternatives, the thin blue line flag
displays by public servants, and more,” the branches said. “All county residents are encouraged to participate, and the survey can be found at www.sbcnaacp.org.”
Marcus Sibley, president of the Southern Burlington County branch told Front Runner New Jersey the first round of responses to the survey could be revealed by mid-September but it will be guided by the responses.
“So many people speak about issues with police, but now there’s an anonymous survey where everyone can let their voice be heard,” Sibley said. “[The survey] started out as my branch’s initiative, and then I met with the other county branches and said let’s work together on this. So it’s our hope that with their inclusion it’ll translate to responses from all throughout the county.”
The survey comes on the heels of the police response to the arrest of Mount Laurel hate-crime suspect Edward Cagney Mathews in July. Numerous African American neighbors said Mathews had allegedly harassed them for years and police took little action until a video of him on social media went viral.
“If you only listened to many of our police and elected officials, you’d think we didn’t have
serious issues involving law enforcement in our county,” Sibley said in the NAACP statement. “It’s time for real data that changes the narrative. The survey is a great tool to that end, and all three Burlington branches working together translates to participation from all parts of our county.”
Will Weston, first vice president of the Willingboro and Vicinity branch, said he hopes the combined effort of the three organizations can get people to respond and make a great impact.
“One of these issues is the way we are being policed by law enforcement officers,” Weston said. “This survey will provide data concerning the community’s interactions with law enforcement officers, and attitudes towards policing.”
Rhonda Sessons, the Greater Delaware Valley NAACP first vice president, said they are advocating for adequate funding for the recruitment of more diverse police departments.
“With the help and unanimous support of all the NAACP Burlington County branches, this survey provides a way for the voices of the black and brown communities to be heard loud and clear,” she said.
For more information:
Southern Burlington County NAACP – firstname.lastname@example.org
Willingboro and Vicinity NAACP – email@example.com
Greater Delaware Valley NAACP – firstname.lastname@example.org
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