UPDATE: This blog has been updated to correct the number of sworn agents and the number of sworn agents allowed.
Ninety-nine percent of Colorado Springs Police Department officers participating in an investigation say the top priority should be increasing the number of sworn officers.
The CSPD is currently below its authorized strength of 803 officers. Its current number of sworn officers is 734, including 41 at the academy who are in training and not responding to calls.
Many survey respondents also gave command staff low marks for listening to their concerns and applying the rules fairly to all ranks.
The Morale Surveyconducted by the Colorado Springs Police Protective Association (CSPAA), a nonprofit support group for officers, was conducted August 17-31, drawing anonymous responses from 331 sworn members, a response rate of 60 percent .
Sherryl Post-Dillon, executive director of the CSPPA, says the survey is the first of its kind conducted by the organization.
When asked about her goal, she says, “It’s always better to quantify and be data-driven, rather than anecdotal. It is used to quantify anecdotal information. This study is a moment in time.
While the results have been delivered to members, Post-Dillon says there are no plans to distribute the survey results to others, although CSPD says the board shared the survey with members. police commanders.
Before we get to some of the survey findings, here’s what CSPD spokesperson Lt. Pamela Castro said in response to our questions about the survey:
“The Chief and Deputy Chiefs have a long-standing relationship with the CSPPA Board of Directors and meet regularly. While we believe much of the response reflects how the company currently treats officers, we hope to continue to work together to find ways to improve in areas that we can control As you are likely aware, we are requesting additional officers and civilian positions in 2023, we have moved to continuous hiring of officers and we We have dozens of groups and committees already established made up of officers through NCOs Chiefs that are trying to tackle some of the major issues facing law enforcement and our service in particular The Chief meets with the Officers Advisory Committee monthly and works with them to involve them at a senior level in various operational decisions. girls. started before we knew the results of the investigation.”
Most survey respondents, 32 percent, have been employed by CSPD for five years or less, and 25 percent have six to 10 years on the force. Only 7 percent of those who responded have over 25 years with the ministry.
Most of the participants, 57.5%, serve in the patrol division and 32% work in specialized units.
In addition to increasing the number of sworn officers, 94% said it was “very important/somewhat important” to increase salaries and benefits.
The third priority is to expand and improve training opportunities, said 85% of respondents.
When it comes to accountability, most officers (58.2%) said senior managers do not hold themselves accountable to the same standards expected of those under their command.
And 81.8% said commanders are not in touch with the day-to-day aspects of the work of those under their command.
Less than half (46.3 percent) said that command personnel model appropriate standards of conduct.
When it comes to morale, nearly 55% rated their morale as somewhat low or very low, describing nearly 66% of the morale of their peers as such.
To underscore these feelings, 34% said the department was “not at all effective” at “listening to employee ideas and suggestions.” Additionally, 62.2% of respondents said that CSPD is only slightly or not at all effective at “treating employees fairly and consistently.”
The CSPD also fails to communicate a clear direction, said 63.6%.
However, just over half, 52.6%, said the department championed budget, staffing and equipment needs.
Only 5.2% said the department “promotes strong morale”, while 37.5% strongly disagreed with this statement.