Undergraduate students majoring in criminal justice at Lycoming College will be asking residents in Williamsport to participate in a survey this spring to assess attitudes toward the local police. Students will begin this field research on May 15 and will continue through June, during early and late afternoon hours. The student research assistants are working with Justin Medina, Ph.D., assistant professor of criminal justice-criminology at Lycoming, who oversaw an earlier iteration of this research in Fall 2022 that concluded with over 70 survey participants across four Williamsport neighborhoods.
The student researchers will have identification badges indicating the collaboration between the Williamsport Bureau of Police and Lycoming College’s Department of Criminal Justice-Criminology. The principal investigator, Medina, will supervise the student researchers during their fieldwork.
Residences in Williamsport census block groups were randomly selected using public records as being eligible for participation. Students will ask an adult at sampled residences to participate in a short, anonymous, and voluntary survey about their perceptions of local issues and police services.
This innovative approach builds on the desire to improve the ties between local justice agencies and the residents they serve. The survey, developed by Medina, will gather information about respondent’s experiences and attitudes toward the police agency and neighborhood issues. The purpose of this survey is to continue strengthening ties between the police department, neighborhoods, residents, and local businesses. This same survey and undergraduate student research method was previously been completed in Old Lycoming Township Police Department in 2017, Tiadaghton Valley Regional Police Department in 2018, and Lock Haven Police Department in 2022.
“Our students are looking forward to getting involved with the local community while learning more about public perceptions of law enforcement,” said Medina. “The results of the survey will help the police department continue to provide quality service to its surrounding communities. We appreciate the support we have received from the police and the community to ensure the survey will be a success.”
Any questions about the survey can be directed via email to Medina (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Chief Justin Snyder (email@example.com).