• Presentation

Multimode Strategies for Designing Establishment Surveys


Jones, S. M. (2009, May). Multimode Strategies for Designing Establishment Surveys. Presented at AAPOR 2009, .


Design strategies are discussed that improve participation from law enforcement agencies by showing the data collection modes that these agencies prefer. The overarching design objective is to capitalize on the various means that many agencies and establishments have to participate in sample surveys. For example, most establishments have faxing capabilities, internet access, and employ computer literate staff. This was the case for agencies in the Survey of Law Enforcement Forensic Evidence Processing (LEFP), which was funded by the National Institute of Justice. The goal of the study was to characterize the backlog of criminal cases and forensic evidence existing at law enforcement agencies that await submission to crime laboratories. Estimates needed included number of criminal cases existing and size of the backlog of forensic evidence. Participants in this national probability sample of 3,153 law enforcement agencies were given a choice of one of four modes for participation. Sample agencies could choose to complete the hardcopy questionnaire mailed to them and then return it in a self-addressed envelope. The respondent also had the option to fax the questionnaire back using the fax number provided in the information package. The third option was to call a toll free telephone number and complete the survey over the telephone. Included with the hardcopy instrument was also the web address to the study’s website, and thus provided the opportunity for the agency’s respondent to complete the survey via the web. Strategic findings are presented from the use of these data collection modes. Several comparisons are made for the different modes including; comparisons by type of law enforcement agency, size of agency, as well as census regional comparisons. This research will contribute to a better understanding of mode preference and cost efficiency for establishments or agencies at the local, county, and state levels of government.