RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — VCU Police in Richmond are rolling out the chance for people to give feedback after interactions with their officers.
Officers on campus are now equipped with QR coded business cards that give VCU students and Richmond residents’ direct access to submit concerns, complaints and recommendations after their own brush with the law.
A spokesperson for the police department said officers are required to give them following an interaction that “constitutes a stop,” including arrests.
Cards have been used since 2019, though the QR feature is new.
The anonymous surveys include questions like “how well did the officer explain their intentions?,” “how would you rate the officer’s listening skills?” and “overall professionalism?”
Jason Young, a former VCU student, said “this is an excellent idea,” particularly in an era of renewed national focus on police relations.
“You don’t often get a chance to have a direct feedback between individuals and officers,” he said.
The rollout is timely. Weeks ago a VCU police officer was charged with misdemeanor battery and assault while on duty last October.
Richmonder Travis Turner said the comments, which can be shared immediately after a police interaction, could help in court, and –hypothetically– if officers used force.
“When they, you know, they make up some type of excuse that says, a person had a gun or something, and they shot a person,” Turner said.
Shana Bullard, a first-year psychology student at VCU, shared a similar comment.
“Having somewhere where people feel safe, and maybe not right in front of them, say if an officer did something suspicious or against the law, you have the somewhere that you can say what they did,” Bullard said.
And yes, there’s space on the survey for comments to explain reviews in detail.
A statement from patrol officer David Kelly said “criticism, positive or negative, can be an absolute tool for improvement.“