Bratton suggests text message survey system to rate residents’ satisfaction with cops after calling 911

Someday soon, 911 callers may be able to fill out surveys on their cellphones about their NYPD law enforcement experience.

In a speech to an African-American police group, New York City’s top cop Friday suggested incorporating into daily policing a method businesses and institutions ranging from Nissan and Microsoft to Harvard and Stanford use to gauge customer satisfaction.

“Imagine a system that sends automatic text messages containing very short citizen-satisfaction surveys to every 911 caller – and every complainant, and domestic-incident reporter, and accident reporter, and every service recipient who provides a cellphone number or email address – within 24 hours,” Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said in an address to the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives.

Such a system, Bratton said, would enable the NYPD to “hear how citizens feel about their neighborhoods, about their police.”

And with “citizen-satisfaction numbers,” NYPD brass will be able to hold officers more accountable and “make every police-citizen interaction an act of collaboration.”

“By linking survey results to commands and specific officers, we teach commanders and cops to make citizen satisfaction a priority,” he said. “We can measure cops according to enforcement and citizen satisfaction and correcting conditions.”

Bratton said this is not likely to deter good cops from doing their jobs.

“Most officers, when we give them expectations, they’ll meet them,” he said. “We don’t abandon crime-fighting: it’s the core of what we do. But we can do more than fight crime: we can provide public safety.”

There was no immediate response from the police unions to Bratton’s idea, which a spokesman described as “theoretical at this point.”

The kind of technology Bratton is musing about is already out there.

Outfits like QuestionPro and Market Metrix specialize in doing cellphone surveys for private companies and even some U.S. governmental entities.