The V.I. Police Department is asking community members to take a 20-question survey to help gauge public perception of the department.

The department is conducting the engagement survey “to assess the community’s perspectives on police services, community needs, and suggestions for areas of improvement,” police spokesman Toby Derima announced in a news release Monday.

The survey includes questions about the department’s community engagement and effectiveness in fighting crime.

For example, one question asks respondents to rank what they believe are contributing factors to crime over the last two years: drugs, unemployment, limited police presence, availability of firearms, and gang/community rivalry.

Other questions ask whether respondents feel safe in their home, and when out shopping or dining at restaurants, and whether they feel that the police presence “is appropriate for the need in my community.”

In addition to multiple-choice questions, the survey includes open-ended opportunities for respondents to suggest community programs, and explain their concerns about safety.

“Input from the community to develop goals and initiatives inclusive of everyone is essential in effective policing. The time and feedback from all participants are greatly appreciated,” Derima wrote.

The survey is available at:

— Contact Suzanne Carlson at 340-714-9122 or email