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DENVER (KDVR) — A new survey by the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) found a majority of people give them good grades for professionalism and communication. The survey also found they have some work to do to improve community relations.  

The survey was conducted last October and November by an independent company. More than 4,000 people responded. Across the board, the marks are down from two years ago, which was expected given the pandemic and civil unrest. 

“We were asking our members to do things we had never in the history of this organization, 85 years. They responded to that call,” Colonel Matthew Packard, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol said.

“They give up an awful lot to be in this line of work. To know the vast majority of people are supportive of them and appreciate their service. That’s what this survey shows.” 

Eighty to 90% of Coloradans give them strong marks for protecting lives and treating people fairly under the law. Although the survey was mostly positive, the 2020 results decreased an average of 6 points in each category compared to 2018.  

For example, the survey asked, “How satisfied are you with the Colorado State Patrol acting in a professional and honorable manner?” Eighty-seven percent had favorable comments, down 7% from 2018.

“When we sent that survey out in the fall, we knew our bank account was probably going to be a little low because of everything going on, the pandemic, the unrest and the conversations surrounding law enforcement,” Packard said.

He also said the survey shows how important community involvement and engagement is. “That opportunity to have heartfelt face-to-face communication was limited because of the pandemic.

“You know I don’t think this is rocket science, you have to be a part of the conversation, you have to be willing to come to the table with an open mind. That’s what we are willing to do. We are going to do everything we can to be open and transparent and answer the questions folks have. Why we do the things we do, explain that, but also be open to the opinion of maybe a different way,” Packard said.

With 609 people killed on Colorado roads in 2020, CSP is using this survey to find ways to be even more effective in making our roads safer.

“We’re going to take those lessons and opportunities that we were given in 2020 to learn more about ourselves and how important our organization is to be even more effective in 2021 and doing what we do best. that is, save lives on Colorado roads. that’s what we’re here to do,” Packard said.

“We are the public’s, we are the community’s state patrol. It is really important for us to ask them to make sure we are providing the law enforcement service we provide in a manner that they support and they are appreciative of and meets their expectations. The only way we can know we are doing that is if we ask the question. That’s why we do it and will continue to do it.”