Fire, police surveys seek input from Cumberland residents

Fire, police surveys seek input from Cumberland residents

CUMBERLAND - What do think about the Cumberland Police Department?

What about future plans for a consolidated fire service?

By coincidence, online surveys are asking this month for Cumberland residents' opinions about both emergency services branches.

To take the police survey, click on . Or pick up a copy at the police station.

And for the fire survey, go to .

Speaking to Cumberland residents, Police Chief John Desmarais says he wants residents to tell him "if the police department is meeting your expectations and to identify areas where improvement is needed."

He says the survey "will provide valuable information we can use to better serve you and the Cumberland community."

It asks about residents' experiences with police officers, detectives, superior officers and dispatchers. Are they courteous, helpful, knowledgeable?

Another section asks about residents' opinions about how well the department is performing in the areas of addressing crime, vandalism, drug and alcohol uses, speeding, and more.

The CPD is also seeking opinions about its various programs, from community policing to Citizens Police Academy to child safety seat inspections. And it asks about "quality of life" issues, such as safety, crime prevention, and racial and ethnic relations.

The fire survey was devised by Fire Chief Brian Jackvony of the Valley Falls and North Cumberland districts after several focus group meetings with residents, elected officials and firefighters.

It seeks residents' viewpoints about the upcoming merger of the four independent districts. The chief notes that the survey is citizens' only chance to be heard on consolidation issues prior to the election.

Jackvony said the results will assist the interim consolidation board as well as the new leaders of the first single district, who will be elected in November.

Questions on the short survey include residents' opinions about combining fire administration offices with the proposed public safety building, attitudes about saving budget dollars compared to service levels, and several tax bill questions including whether they should be paid quarterly and whether Town Hall might take over the collection.

Jackvony also said he'll be using the results in a paper he expects to prepare for a course he's taking with the National Fire Academy.