OPP seeking more survey volunteers

Fort Frances OPP would like to see a few more volunteers for its “Policing for Results” telephone survey it hopes to start conducting here next week.
“Right now, we have about 10 people to do it. Ideally, I’d like to see 15 or more,” Fort Frances OPP Sgt. Steve Shouldice said Monday morning.
“We’re looking at conducting 370 surveys. The more people we have, the quicker we can get those done,” he added.
Sgt. Shouldice noted the job merely consists of making randomly-chosen phone calls and conducting an anonymous, scripted interview, which usually takes 10-15 minutes to do.
“Some people I’ve talked to have seemed apprehensive when they hear about computers being involved,” he said. “But really, it’s very simple software to use. You just have to take the mouse and click on a phone icon.”
He also clarified the survey cannot be conducted from a volunteer’s home but must be done from the OPP detachment here. This involves a time commitment of about two hours on a given weekday, and three hours on the weekend.
Sgt. Shouldice said an hour-long training session will be held next week, but any more volunteers still are welcome to help out after that time.
The survey will take several weeks to complete.
Those interested in helping out can call Sgt. Shouldice or S/Sgt. Hugh Dennis at the Fort Frances detachment (274-3322).
Meanwhile, Sgt. Shouldice also said he’s asking residents who are called during the survey to co-operate.
“If we can increase the participation, then we’ll have to make fewer phone calls and be done with this,” he noted.
“Right now, we expect about 10 percent to respond, but if we can raise the profile of this, maybe we could get that up to 50 percent.
“I think that if people know these are local volunteers calling them, on behalf of the local police, they might be more willing to do the survey,” added Sgt. Shouldice.
The survey only will be conducted from 7-9 p.m. on weekdays and between noon and 8 p.m. on weekends, he noted.
The purpose of the survey is to assess the existing services and programs under the OPP here, and assist the police in planning for the future of policing in the community.
The local OPP detachment won’t be privy to any of the results as they are being fed directly into a computer linked to OPP headquarters in Orillia.