Troy University released quality of life surveys to about 3,500 Dothan residents via the mail this week as part of a partnership with the City of Dothan.
The 56-question surveys, designed by Troy University with input from the Dothan Community Relations Group, focus on questions about the quality of life, the state of race relations and the state of community policing in Dothan.
Residents who received the survey were randomly selected by address. No names are included in the surveys.
“Everything in this survey is completely anonymous,” said Dr. Christopher Bradley, a sociology professor at Troy who will be analyzing the survey results. “This survey is designed to be completely objective and unbiased in nature. We have no agenda whatsoever other than accurately reporting residents’ opinions expressed in the survey.”
City leaders hope to use the information gathered from the anonymous surveys to address areas that need improvement.
“We didn’t write the questions or lead this survey, but we want to hear what the community has to say,” said Dothan Mayor Mike Schmitz. “We can’t be better unless we hear your voice and your voice tells us how we can get better. The only way we can get better is for the community to respond, and we can take the information provided by Troy and say, ‘We thought we were doing this well, but maybe we’re not.’ And we also want to know what we’re doing that’s good.”
Dothan Police Chief Steve Parrish said a residential survey has been a long-term goal of his since taking office.
Precious Freeman, president of the Dothan Community Relations Group, said it’s vital that the public responds to the survey.
“If the people who receive this survey in the mail actually take the time to complete it and send it in, their voices will be heard,” Freeman said. “When you get your survey, think of this as the golden ticket. This is your opportunity to make a difference in your community, to say what’s on your mind and on the minds of those around you.”
Bradley said the survey will be out for six to eight weeks, and when the data is compiled it will be made available to the public through a website.
“This is not about what’s going on in Washington D.C. or on the national news,” Schmitz said. “We want to hear about your community and our community.”